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|Moon Landing: Russia Failed, India Succeed by holophs: 10:32pm On Aug 23|
Days after a Russian lunar landing failed, India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission is set to begin exploring an area of the moon that has yet to be visited and has water ice that could be a resource for future missions.
Two visitors from India — a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyan — landed in the southern polar region of the moon on Wednesday. The two robots, from a mission named Chandrayaan-3, make India the first country to ever reach this part of the lunar surface in one piece — and only the fourth country ever to land on the moon.
“We have achieved soft landing on the moon,” S. Somanath, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, said after a roar ripped through the ISRO compound just past 6 p.m. local time. “India is on the moon.”
If you want to send astronauts to the moon, a place with water would be a good destination.
Obviously, humans need to drink water to survive, and water molecules can be split into hydrogen and oxygen. Oxygen provides air to breathe, and hydrogen and oxygen can also be used as rocket propellants to get back home to Earth, or somewhere else in the solar system. Speaking to reporters gathered outside Mission Control, the chairman of ISRO, S. Somanath, told us that the lander’s rover, named Pragyaan, would be rolled out in a matter of hours or, maybe, tomorrow. Its sensors, including a laser and an alpha-particle beam, as well as instruments on the Vikram lander, will start relaying data after that.
On X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Bill Nelson, administrator of NASA, offered his congratulations to ISRO after India became the fourth nation to successfully soft-land a spacecraft on the moon. “We’re glad to be your partner on this mission!” he wrote. (NASA provided access to its Deep Space Network of radio antenna for communications with India's Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft.)
The ISRO leadership who managed Chandrayaan-3 make clear the failure of their last moon landing attempt, in 2019, was a major driving force. “From the day we started rebuilding our spacecraft after Chandaryaan-2 experience, it has been breathe in breathe out Chandrayaan-3 for our team,” said Kalpana Kalahasti, the mission's associate project director.
The Deep Space Network, a NASA network of large dish antennas, is assisting ISRO in communicating with the ground. Right now, it shows Chandrayaan-3 sending and receiving signals.
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|Re: Moon Landing: Russia Failed, India Succeed by wittywriter: 9:10pm On Sep 21|
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