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India, I reached my destination: Chandrayaan-3's first message from Moon

With Chandrayaan-3 landing successfully, India has become the first country in the world to land on the Moon's far side


Raghav Aggarwal New Delhi

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With Vikram lander's successful landing on the far side of the Moon, India on Wednesday became the first country in the world to achieve the feat. At 6:04 pm, the lander, named after the Father of India's space mission, set its feet on the Moon, an event witnessed live by millions across the globe.

After landing on the Moon, Chandrayaan-3 sent a message to India, "India, I reached my destination and you too!"

Informing about the success of the mission, Isro posted on X, "Chandrayaan-3 has successfully soft-landed on the moon."

This comes four years after India's Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) failed to land on the Moon when Chandrayaan-2's lander crashed minutes before landing.

Chandrayaan-3 mission was launched on July 14 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Till August 4, the spacecraft Isro continued to perform orbit-raising manoeuvres. On August 5, Chandrayaan-3 was inserted into the lunar orbit.

On August 16, the lander module was successfully separated from the propulsion module. On August 21, Chandrayaan-3 established contact with Chandrayaan-2, which said, "Welcome, buddy!"

This was India's third lunar mission in 15 years.

Chandrayaan-1, India's first mission to the Moon, was launched on October 22, 2008, from Sriharikota Spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.

The spacecraft, carrying 11 scientific instruments built in India, the USA, the UK, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria, orbited around the Moon at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon.

After the successful completion of all the major mission objectives, the orbit was raised to 200 km in May 2009. The satellite made more than 3,400 orbits around the Moon.

A decade later, Chandrayaan-2, comprising an orbiter, lander and rover, was successfully launched on July 22, 2019.

The objectives of the country's second mission to the Moon were scientific studies by payloads onboard the orbiter and technology demonstration of soft landing and roving on the lunar surface.

Most of the components of the technology demonstration, including the launch, orbital critical manoeuvres, lander separation, de-boost and rough braking phase, were successfully accomplished.

However, the lander with a rover in its belly crash-landed on the lunar surface in the final lap, failing in its objective to touch down gently.

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First Published: Aug 23 2023 | 6:04 PM IST

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