Indian lunar probe Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed near the Moon’s South Pole, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has announced.
India has become the first country to land a probe on the Moon’s South Pole, which was one on the main goals for both China and US trying to establish itself as a stronger party in a “space race”.
Before this time, only Russia, the US and China had achieved a controlled landing on the lunar surface.
The South Pole’s potential ice deposits could provide insight into the Moon’s geological composition and its capacity to support future manned lunar missions.
The probe will now measure the Moon’s soil and seismicity around its landing site. The mission aims to discover what the exact chemicals found there are.
A previous Indian lunar mission failed back in 2019. The country’s latest historic landing comes just days after Russia’s first Moon mission in almost 50 years, destined for the same region, crashed on the lunar surface.
The Russian mission was hoping to reach the lunar surface before the Indian Chandrayaan-3 mission, which took off on July 14, 2023. Chandrayaan means ‘moon craft’ in Sanskrit.
India has a comparatively low-budget space program, and its latest moon mission comes at a cost of $74.6 million, far lower than those of other countries.