World rejoices as India’s mission Chandrayaan-3 creates history
Common people of Pakistan, a neighbour with which India has a strained relationship, also praised the feat.
People celebrate the successful lunar landing of Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the south pole of the Moon, in Mumbai on August 23, 2023. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)
IN a momentous achievement for India’s space programme, the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the lunar south pole on Wednesday (23) sparked jubilant reactions from around the world, including the Indian diaspora.
India scripted history as the ambitious third moon mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) touched down on the moon’s South Pole, propelling the country to an exclusive club of four and making it the first nation to land on the uncharted surface.
Mukesh Aghi, president and CEO of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), said this is a historic moment for the people of India.
“It shows India as a rising scientific power which will play an important role in improving the lives of citizens of the world. It is a proud moment which we need to cherish as the world deals with war, poverty, climate change and hunger. India will play an important role in eliminating these man-made challenges,” he said.
Girija Pande, chairman, Apex Advisors Singapore, said he is overjoyed at this brilliant scientific feat by ISRO.
“It will make all Indians proud. it will open doors for India in the massive outer space industry,” Pande said.
Dr Leah-Nani Alconcel, a spacecraft engineer and lecturer in the School of Metallurgy and Materials at University of Birmingham said Chandrayaan-3’s landing is the crowning achievement from the investment of years of intensive work by ISRO’s scientists and engineers.
“It is so exciting to watch this complex, cooperative effort come to fruition. Many congratulations to the dedicated experts of Chandrayaan-3’s mission and instrument teams from the space science and engineering community at the University of Birmingham,” Alconcel said.
British Indian think tank 1928 Institute in a statement said that this “pioneering and courageous” journey is a giant leap in the quest for deeper knowledge of the cosmos.
“The findings from this mission will exponentially propel our understanding of the Lunar South Pole and it is truly amazing that India is the first country to achieve this,” it said.
Reactions from Pakistan
The feat of ISRO scientists is being admired even in Pakistan, a country often seen as inimical to India. The Chandrayaan-3 mission has struck a chord with the common people in the neighbouring country.
“India is marching ahead, we are nowhere,” said Ayub Akhtar, a resident of Islamabad.
Echoing his views, Shamina Begum from Karachi said that India has stolen a march on them in science and technology, while Pakistan is battling for basics like food and education, amid high inflation and internal conflicts.
Several others pointed a finger at Pakistan’s political class for “letting the country down”.
Congratulating ISRO on the “groundbreaking” mission, the Indian National Students’ Association (INSA) UK spokesperson said as an Indian student organisation in the UK, it is immensely proud of India’s pursuit of scientific excellence and its potential to reshape lunar exploration.
“We at INSA believe that ISRO’s success will not only instill confidence but also inspire a new generation of Indians to think big and achieve with perseverance,” it said.
Diaspora group Friends of India Society International (FISI) UK said the achievement serves as a powerful testament to India’s unwavering dedication to scientific progress, poised to ignite the aspirations of forthcoming generations of explorers and scientists within the nation.
The group extended its “warmest” congratulations to the immensely talented ISRO scientists who masterminded the triumphant touchdown of Chandrayaan-3 on the lunar surface on Wednesday.
By successfully accomplishing this remarkable feat, India has now entered the prestigious league of nations that have achieved successful lunar landings.
However, the true marvel lies in India’s unprecedented achievement – the successful landing of a spacecraft on the enigmatic ‘Dark Side” of the Moon, specifically in its southern polar region, it said.
“With the success of Chandrayaan-3, India proudly attains the distinction of being the inaugural nation to achieve a triumphant landing on the Moon’s southern pole, a region that has captivated the curiosity of scientists due to its exceptional attributes,” it said.
Ex chairman of Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry speaks
Dr T Chandroo, immediate past chairman of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI), said the successful launch and execution of Chandrayaan-3 marks another significant milestone in India’s pursuit of space exploration and scientific advancement.
The endeavour demonstrates India’s unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge, fostering innovation, and inspiring generations to dream big, he said. Chandrayaan-3 holds immense promise for expanding our understanding of the lunar surface, conducting vital scientific experiments, and paving the way for future space missions, Chandroo said, adding, “Chandrayaan-3 will undoubtedly inspire the next generation of scientists, astronauts, and innovators.”
Successful entrepreneur Arun Aggarwal from Texas in the US said the landing of Chandrayaan-3, a total indigenous project, is an achievement that not only the Indians, but the whole world should be proud of.
“When India progresses it helps the world progress,” he said, adding that the successful mission is another testament to prime minister Narendra Modi’s vision of India marching towards being an advanced nation.
Community leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria from California said the remarkable accomplishment not only positions India as the first country in the world to achieve such a milestone of landing on the south side of the moon, but it also underscores India’s dedication to leveraging cutting-edge technology in a cost-efficient manner. “This mission’s triumph goes beyond lunar exploration; it symbolises India’s emergence as a significant player in global space endeavours.
The exceptional talents of India’s scientists and engineers are once again on display, showcasing the nation’s innovation and prowess in the space domain. This achievement is a beacon illuminating India’s remarkable ascent on the international stage,” he said.
Dr Suresh Gupta, an Indian American physician in Washington, said this is “a momentous day for my motherland India”.
“From a country of ‘Snake Charmers to Space Exploration Club’. A Giant Step. Indeed.” Khanderao Kand, head of Washington DC-based think tank Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) and a community leader from California, said he is proud to witness India’s triumph in landing Chandrayan-3 on the moon’s mineral-rich South Pole, making it the first nation to do so.
“A significant feat following Russia’s recent mishap on the same side, highlighting challenges. Achieved at a modest cost of around $100M, in contrast to NASA’s usual billions. South Pole landing is crucial for its potential ice and mineral resources from asteroid impacts, driving the lunar exploration race and base establishment this decade,” he said.
On this background, Kand said, it is important to note Modi’s comment that “this mission is not just for India but for the whole world”. India has signed the US-led Artemis Accords which is a legal framework to govern activities on the moon.
The US-India has also incorporated space cooperation as one of the important partnerships in the US-India Initiative Critical and Emerging Technologies (ICE). Dr Dimitrios Stroikos, London School of Economics (LSE) Fellow of International Relations and Editor-in-Chief of ‘Space Policy: An International Journal’, said, the recent failure of Russia’s Luna-25 serves to highlight how difficult soft landing on the Moon can be, but it also confirms India’s status as a great space power.
“From a scientific point of view, such a mission is important because the South Pole region remains under-explored, and thus has the potential for scientific discoveries. For example, it is believed that this region of the moon might contain deposits of water ice.
“Apart from potential scientific discoveries, underlying India’s interest in lunar exploration is also its great power aspirations. Such a mission is an indicator of great power status, an important source of national pride and prestige, and cements India’s position in the top tier of the space community of states,” he said.
Reactions from Nepal
People from Nepal also expressed their happiness on the success of India in the latest space exploration and extended congratulations and also wished to work in collaboration with India to share the benefits. Ganesh Shah, Nepal’s former science and technology and environment minister, said, some five decades ago, India was conducting study and research on space with the assistance of Russia. But now it has achieved “unprecedented success in the area of space exploration”.
Congratulating the Indian scientists and the people of India on the historic occasion, he said, “From now onwards, our livelihood will depend on how much we can utilise the outer space and space exploration. Now we should intensify our study, exploration and utilisation of space for attaining economic prosperity. We should utilise the data received from spacecraft to forecast weather at a time when we are fighting with the impacts of climate change.” “The data received from the spacecraft can be utilised for boosting agricultural products, GIS systems and to harness water resources and forest products. We need no more rely on the data released by NASA as our neighbouring country has become capable in space exploration,” he said. Birendra K Jha, Assistant Professor at Global College in Kathmandu, said this is not only a success for India, but for the entire science and technology community in the world.
“In the future, Nepal can also collaborate with India in the field of space exploration and share the benefits enjoyed by the neighbouring country in the field of space technology. It is also a matter of pride for Nepali people being a good neighbour of India,” he said.
Rishave Dev Khanal, programme coordinator of Global College in Kathmandu, India’s feat has become an inspiration for Nepalese people as well. “The success of India in space exploration has given opportunity for Nepalese people too as it opens doors for us to involve in space study and research in the neighbouring country,” said Shulav Khatiwada, a student. Another student Luma Subba said Nepal can also take inspiration from the success attained by neighbouring India.
Praveen Tripathi, president of India Business Forum South Africa, extended heartfelt congratulations to India and the exceptional ISRO scientists for the historic achievement. “This remarkable feat coinciding with Prime Minister Modi’s presence in Johannesburg for the BRICS summit underscores India’s commitment to space exploration and global cooperation. A momentous day indeed!,” he said.
Isabel Rao, South African author and former Cinema Group chief executive, said, “As if carried gently into touchdown by over a billion Indian hearts, the soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the moon is a proud moment for Indians everywhere, and a giant leap for space exploration.”
Niri Pema of Johannesburg-based Transvaal United Patidar Society said he is “proud to be (an) Indian! Congratulations to India for achieving the incredible feat of landing on the moon! Your dedication, innovation, and hard work have brought the nation’s space exploration journey to new heights. This achievement is a testament to the power of human ingenuity and teamwork. Well done! Jai Hind.” Atul Keshap, CEO of US-India Business Council (USIBC), said Americans share the sheer joy and great pride of the people of India to behold the successful landing of Chandraayan-3 on the Moon.
“ISRO’s achievement is remarkable, and reflects India’s impressive capabilities in space exploration. Under the umbrella of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies launched by both governments, US-India space cooperation is set to intensify, building on our strong track record of Moon and Mars exploration for the benefit of all humanity,” he said.