- The Indian citizens’ must have been literally over the Moon soon after witnessing the historical moments when the Chandrayaan-3 made a textbook soft landing on the surface. Why only Indians, the entire global community’s eyes were on the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) capability to deliver on the cutting-edge space technology-driven initiative. Remember, Chandrayaan-2 failed to accomplish the mission last time around. Thus, there was not only eagerness and anticipation for the mission to succeed this time around but also a level of anxiety that nothing would go wrong in the way of the Chandrayaan-3 from culminating as envisaged. No wonder, lots of prayers went out seeking divine intervention for the mission’s success.
- Right from our childhood, all of us have heard mesmerizing stories about the moon. Those fables, legends, and fantasizing stories from our mothers, elders, teachers, and well-wishers about the Moon are firmly etched in our memories. Needless to mention, every civilization has weaved tales romanticizing the Moon and shared them over generations, but few have had the privilege of seeing it up close, let alone set foot on its dusty surface. As such, Vikram, Chandrayaan-3’s lander, earned India that privilege on August 23. ISRO’s successful controlled Moon landing manoeuvre is a testament to the 61-year-old legacy of India’s space program, its perseverance, innovation, and scientific prowess – from modest beginnings to giant leaps.
- What this stupendous scientific achievement has ushered in is it opens India’s space program to new frontiers by proving to the world that cutting-edge space technology need not cost a king’s ransom. For the uninitiated, Chandrayaan-3 cost Rs 601.3 crore. That the Moon landing came six decades after similar feats by the USSR and over half a century after the first human stepped onto the Moon, in no way dwarfs ISRO’s achievement. Mind you, India is still only the fourth country to have successfully landed a spacecraft on the Moon and the first on the South Pole. Note that globally six of ten lunar missions with controlled landings have failed. The odds are slightly better at four of ten for overall Moon missions.
PC: Parul Gupta
- Further, as scientific data from instruments on Vikram and rover Pragyan are awaited, it is time to look back at six decades of incremental growth and big leaps that brought stature and respect to India’s space program. The moot point to ponder over here is should a developing country such as India indulge in an expensive space program. It’s proved beyond doubt from all requisite quarters that space technology is essential for the all-around economic development of India. Remember, we cannot afford to ignore it either. Indeed, it’s a very proud moment for every Indian to see how our magnificent scientists and engineers ensured the mission accomplished its goal with such finesse. Hearty congratulations to Team ISRO! We are elated beyond words!