Did Indian Spacecraft Really Land on the Moon?

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By Afshain Afzal

Russia was the first country to congratulate New Delhi on the breakthrough of landing on the moon. Moscow and New Delhi are collaborating in the field of space technology and have quite impressive joint programmes on exploration on the moon. Earlier, Russian Consul General at Chennai, Oleg Nikolayevich Avdeev spelled out high hopes about the Indo-Russia joint space programme, “I am eagerly waiting for India’s Chandrayaan - 3 soft landing”. He confirmed that the mission will be a fruitful lunar program and it will definitely be a great success. A few years back, in December 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited India and signed agreements on enhanced cooperation between Roscosmos and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in various domains including human spaceflight, satellite navigation, development of launch vehicles, and planetary exploration. One of the success stories was the joint development of the GLONASS navigation system and the launching, monitoring, and tracking codes.

It would be interesting to note that after the Indo-Russian success, American President Joe Biden has also confirmed to visit India from 7-10 September 2023, to congratulate Indian Prime Minister Narendra PM Modi on assuming G20 leadership and success on India becoming the fourth country landing on the moon. A press release issued by the White House one day ago confirmed President Biden's visit. In the past ISRO was totally taken aback over the reasons why their Vikram Lander crashed on the moon in 2019. They had only option to go for a joint colabrotion with Russia. It is on record that three countries including the erstwhile Soviet Union, the United States and China claim that their spacecraft landed on the South Polar region of the moon; India will be the fourth. 

In the latest development, as per the details, the ISRO announced on 20 August that Indian-American spacecraft, Chandrayaan-3 is expected to land on the moon on 23 August 2023”. If we recall, last week, Russia's Luna-25 moon probe crash landed, which according to Russian scientists in CAR was part of Chandrayaan mission but so far New Delhi has not confirmed it. ISRO has confirmed that Chandrayaan-3 robotic lander dropped out of orbit for a rocket-powered descent to the lunar surface, successfully touching down near the moon's south pole. Proud momonts, ISRO tweeted, “The communication link is established between the Ch-3 Lander and MOX-ISTRAC, Bengaluru. Here are the images from the Lander Horizontal Velocity Camera taken during the descent.” However, these images are not beyond doubt as the resolution of different images do not correspond with each other. The fate of Chandrayaan-3 is not different from Russia's Luna-25. Hence, the released images by Chandrayaan-3 can by ISRO’s own smart work through lab software. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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