• Saturday, June 15, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Modi to virtually join Chandrayaan-3 landing on moon from South Africa

The Indian PM was not present in the country when the lunar mission was launched in July as he was in France to attend the Bastille Day event.

(L-R) Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Chandrayaan 3 spacecraft (ANI Photos)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi will on Wednesday (23) join the historic landing programme of the country’s lunar mission — Chandrayaan-3 — virtually from South Africa.

The announcement was made as he reached Johannesburg in the southern African nation on a three-day visit for the 15th BRICS summit that includes leaders from Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa and many other nations.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) planned the spacecraft’s soft landing at 6.04 pm on Wednesday. The mission kicked off on July 14 at 2.35 pm local time from Sriharikota in the south-eastern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Modi was not present in the country at that time either as he was in France as the chief guest in the Bastille Day event. He had conveyed his best wishes from Paris saying “the day will be etched in golden letters”.

A successful soft landing on the lunar surface by Chandrayaan-3 lander module would put India in the elite club of nations that have reached the moon’s surface — the US, erstwhile Soviet Union and China.

The current lunar mission is a follow-on mission of Chandrayaan-2, which could not succeed in its lunar phase when its lander Vikram crashed into the moon’s surface after anomalies in the module’s braking system while trying a touchdown. It happened on September 7, 2019.

The upcoming landing will be streamed live on the ISRO’s official website and on its various social media platforms.

Viewers can also access live commentary and experts’ analysis during the event. The live streaming will begin around 5:27 pm Indian Standard Time.

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