India readies for Chandrayaan-3 moon landing

It comes just days after Russia's Luna-25 spacecraft crashed into the moon after losing control

Space enthusiasts in India are hoping for the success of the mission (photo: Ajit Solanki/AP via DW)
Space enthusiasts in India are hoping for the success of the mission (photo: Ajit Solanki/AP via DW)


India was poised to make history as the first nation to land on the moon's south polar region on Wednesday afternoon.

The Chandrayaan-3, meaning "moon vehicle" in Hindi and Sanskrit, was expected to put down its Vikram lander on the lunar surface at 18:04  India time (12:34 GMT, 14:34 CET).

It comes just days after Russia's Luna-25 spacecraft crashed into the moon after losing control.

India's standing as a space power

India's previous attempt to land on the moon failed in 2019, but former space chief K. Sivan is optimistic about the latest mission's success based on images the lander sent.

"It is giving some encouragement that we will be able to achieve the landing mission without any problem," he said.

The mission was launched nearly six weeks ago, and anticipation and excitement for the landing were high across India.

Prayers took place in temples, mosques, and churches and schoolchildren waved the Indian flag while waiting for live screenings of the landing.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expected to watch the landing from South Africa, where he was attending the BRICS summit.

Modi hoped mission success would spur investment in private space launches and related satellite-based businesses.

Chandrayaan-3's mission

The south pole of the moon has potential as a source of oxygen, fuel, and water for future missions and a moon colony.

Chandrayaan-3 was expected to explore it for two weeks, running a series of experiments to determine the mineral composition of the lunar surface.

Several countries, including the United States, China, Israel and Japan, aim to set up a base on the moon.

Only the United States, China and the former Soviet Union have previously achieved a controlled landing on the lunar surface.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines