India Becomes 4th Country to Land on The Moon

An Indian spacecraft landed on the rugged, unexplored south pole of the moon on Wednesday in a mission seen as crucial to lunar exploration and India’s standing as a space power, just days after a similar Russian lander crashed.

“This moment is unforgettable. It is phenomenal. This is a victory cry of a new India,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who waved the Indian flag as he watched the landing from South Africa where he was attending a BRICS summit, a group that joins Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Scientists and officials clapped, cheered and hugged each other as the spacecraft landed and people across India broke out in celebration, setting off firecrackers and dancing in the streets.

“India is on the moon,” said S. Somanath, chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft landed, making India the fourth nation to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon after the United States, China and Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated India in a message to Modi published on the Kremlin website.

“This is a big step forward in space exploration and of course a testament to the impressive progress made by India in the field of science and technology,” he said.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson congratulated the ISRO on the landing: “And congratulations to India on being the 4th country to successfully soft-land a spacecraft on the Moon.

“We’re glad to be your partner on this mission!”, he said on ‘X’, formerly Twitter.

Credit: Reuters