New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called ISRO Chairman S Somanath from South Africa’s Johannesburg, where he is currently attending the BRICS Summit, to congratulate him on the successful soft landing of the Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon. During the phone call, he told the ISRO head that even his name is ‘Somanath’, which means the ‘Lord of Moon’.
He also told Somanath that he would soon visit Bengaluru to greet the team on the successful Chandrayaan-3 mission.
“Somanath ji…Your name Somanath too is linked to the Moon. Your family members too would be elated. Hearty congratulations to you and your team,” PM Modi said in the phone call.
VIDEO | PM Modi spoke to ISRO chief S Somanath over phone after successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on Moon surface.
Shortly before his phone call to Somanath, PM Modi also addressed ISRO scientists virtually from Johannesburg, and said India made a resolve ‘on the Earth and fulfilled it on the Moon’.
India is now on the moon and the success belongs to all humanity, Prime Minister Modi said as Chandrayaan-3 landed successfully on the lunar surface.
“This is a moment to cherish forever,” he said, noting that India has reached the South Pole of the moon, where no country had ventured so far.
“India is now on the moon and now is the time to walk on the ‘Chandra Path’,” he added.
“India’s successful moon mission is not India’s alone…Our approach of one earth, one family one future is resonating across the globe… Moon mission is based on the same human-centric approach. So, this success belongs to all of humanity,” PM Modi said noting that this stupendous feat has been achieved during India’s G20 presidency.
The Chandrayaan-3’s landing on the moon is a historic moment and sounds the bugle for a developed India, Modi said.
“We are witness to the new flight of new India. New history has been written,” the Prime Minister said.
Modi, who is in the South African city to attend the five-nation BRICS Summit, also waved the tricolour the moment Chandrayaan-3 landed on the moon.
“Though I was in South Africa for the BRICS Summit, my heart and soul was here (in India),” the Prime Minister said.
India scripts history as Chandrayaan-3 lands on Moon
In a giant leap for its space programme, India’s Moon mission Chandrayaan-3 touched down on the lunar south pole on Wednesday, propelling the country to an exclusive club of four and making it the first country to land on the uncharted surface.
In a big boost to India’s space prowess, the LM comprising the lander (Vikram) and the 26 kg rover (Pragyan), made the soft landing near the south polar region of the Moon at 6.04 pm, less than a week after a similar Russian lander Luna-25 crashed.
With this, India has become the fourth country to master the technology of soft-landing on the lunar surface after the US, China, and the erstwhile Soviet Union.
Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 and its objectives are to demonstrate a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface, roving on the Moon, and to conduct in-situ scientific experiments.
Chandrayaan-2 had failed in its lunar phase when its lander ‘Vikram’ crashed into the surface of the Moon minutes before the touchdown following anomalies in the braking system in the lander while attempting a landing on September 7, 2019. Chandrayaan’s maiden mission was in 2008.
The Rs 600 crore Chandrayaan-3 mission was launched on July 14 onboard Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM-3) rocket, for a 41-day voyage to reach near the lunar south pole.
The lander and the six-wheeled rover (with a total mass of 1,752 kg) are designed to operate for one lunar daylight period (about 14 Earth days)
The lander with four legs, had multiple sensors to ensure a safe touchdown, including an accelerometer, altimeters, Doppler velocimeter, inclinometer, touchdown sensor, and a suite of cameras for hazard avoidance and positional knowledge.
The lander carries the rover in a compartment with a ramp for deployment onto the surface.