India Achieves Lunar Milestone and Celebrates Women in Science
Bengaluru: In a momentous declaration, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proclaimed August 23 as the ‘National Space Day,’ commemorating the monumental success of Chandrayaan-3’s soft landing on the Moon’s southern pole on the same day. The announcement came as he addressed the exceptional minds at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) command center in Bengaluru.
The Prime Minister’s visit to the ISRO headquarters was marked by a heartfelt tribute to the Chandrayaan-3 team for their awe-inspiring achievement. Prime Minister Modi particularly lauded the contributions of the women scientists who played a pivotal role in the mission’s success. He unveiled plans to christen the lunar touchdown point as ‘Shivshakti,’ a name intended to inspire generations to channel the power of science for the betterment of society.
“This ‘Shivshakti’ point, where Chandrayaan-3 touched down, stands as a testament to the dedication of our women scientists and will serve as a wellspring of motivation for future scientific pursuits,” expressed PM Modi, emphasizing the nation’s unwavering commitment to the welfare of its citizens.
The Prime Minister also announced another poignant gesture, renaming the site where Chandrayaan-2 had made contact with the Moon as the ‘Tiranga’ point, symbolizing the tricolor Indian flag.
During his address, PM Modi highlighted the pivotal role of scientific advancement in shaping a nation’s destiny. “In today’s world, the nation that forges ahead in the realm of science and technology is etching history. To foster a culture of scientific curiosity and innovation, we have designated August 23, the day when Chandrayaan-3’s lander graced the Moon’s surface, as the National Space Day,” stated the Prime Minister passionately.
“Today’s India is bold and valiant, epitomized by this unparalleled achievement. Our scientists have carried the ‘Make In India’ initiative to the Moon, bolstering our indigenous capabilities,” the Prime Minister proudly proclaimed.
While unable to be physically present for the Chandrayaan-3 landing due to his commitments, PM Modi virtually participated in the event, extending his hearty congratulations to ISRO Chairman S Somanath and his exceptional team for etching India’s name in lunar history.
Chandrayaan-3, a sequel to the Chandrayaan-2 mission, is geared toward achieving three pivotal goals: executing a secure and soft lunar landing, showcasing the rover’s mobility on the Moon’s surface, and conducting vital in-situ scientific experiments. The success of Chandrayaan-3’s landing on August 23 at 6:04 pm marked a triumph for ISRO and opened the doors to a series of planned lunar experiments.
In a remarkable feat, the Pragyan rover, a component of Chandrayaan-3, ventured across the lunar landscape, covering a commendable distance of 8 meters. This achievement underscored ISRO’s prowess in lunar exploration.
While Chandrayaan-3’s predecessor faced challenges during its landing attempt, ISRO’s adeptness was evident as they masterfully positioned the orbiter, yielding crucial insights and data. This landmark victory placed India among an elite group of nations that have achieved a gentle lunar landing and designated the country as the first to conquer the uncharted southern pole of the Moon.