India launches the historic Chandrayaan-3 mission to the moon.

With the launch of its Chandrayaan-3 mission on Friday, India hopes to become just the fourth nation to carry out a controlled landing on the moon.

Chandrayaan, a “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit, is scheduled to launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in southern Andhra Pradesh state at 2:30 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET).

India is making its second try at a gentle landing after its first attempt with Chandrayaan-2 in 2019 was unsuccessful. 2008 saw the Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe orbit the moon before being purposefully crash-landed on the moon’s surface.

India’s maiden lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, discovered water molecules on the moon’s surface. Eleven years later, the Chandrayaan-2 successfully entered lunar orbit but its rover crash-landed on the moon’s surface. It too was supposed to explore the moon’s South Pole.

At the time, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the engineers behind the mission despite the failure, promising to keep working on India’s space program and ambitions.

Just before Friday’s launch, Modi said the day “will always be etched in golden letters as far as India’s space sector is concerned.”

“This remarkable mission will carry the hopes and dreams of our nation,” he said in a Twitter post.

India has since spent about $75 million on its Chandrayaan-3 mission.

Modi said the rocket will cover more than 300,000 kilometers (186,411 miles) and reach the moon in the “coming weeks.”


India has had a space program for more than 60 years since the country was still a young republic and was suffering from a terrible division.

The nation was no match for the aspirations of the US and the former Soviet Union, which were far ahead in the space race when it launched its first rocket into space in 1963.

India now has the fifth-largest economy in the world and is the most populous country. It has a sizable young population and is home to an expanding innovation and technological center.

Additionally, under Modi, India’s space goals have been playing catch up.

India launched the Mangalyaan spacecraft into orbit around Mars in 2014, becoming the first Asian country to do so. The mission cost $74 million to launch, less than the $100 million Hollywood spent on the space drama “Gravity.”

India set a record by launching 104 satellites in one operation three years later.

India claimed to have shot down one of its own satellites in an alleged anti-satellite test in 2019, making it one of only four nations to have done so, according to Modi in a rare broadcast address.

In the same year, India’s previous head of ISRO, Kailasavadivoo Sivan, stated that the country intended to launch a space station by 2030. The International Space Station, a multi-national project, and China’s Tiangong Space Station are the only space stations currently accessible to expedition crews.

Space technology has become one of India’s hottest investment industries due to its rapid development and innovation, and foreign leaders seem to have taken notice.

The White House stated that when Modi and US President Joe Biden met in Washington last month on a state visit, they both desired greater cooperation in the space sector.

Additionally, India has space aspirations beyond the moon and Mars. Additionally, ISRO has suggested sending an orbiter to Venus.

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