More than a century ago, the well-known national poet from Tamil Nadu Subramania Bharathi wrote: “வானை அளப்போம்; கடல் மீனை அளப்போம்; சந்திர மண்டலத்து இயல் கண்டு தெளிவோம்” (We will measure the sky and harvest the seas; will find out the nature of the lunar region). Bharat, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has fulfilled the dream of Bharathi on Aug. 23,2023, when Chandrayaan-3 landed on the Lunar south pole. Thus, we became the first nation in the World to land on the hitherto unexplored south pole, besides being the fourth nation to land on the moon.
After the successful landing, the PM noted: “This moment is unforgettable. This moment is unprecedented. This moment is the victory cry of a developed India. This moment is the triumph of the new India. This moment is about crossing the ocean of difficulties. This moment is about walking on the path of victory. This moment holds the capability of 1.4 billion heartbeats. This moment signifies new energy, new belief, and new consciousness in India. This moment is the call of India’s ascending destiny,” and called it the “first light of success in the dawn of Amrit Kaal”.
On this historic achievement, PM said: “We took a pledge on Earth, and we fulfilled it on the Moon…. Today, we have witnessed the new flight of New India in space.” Besides, he noted: “When we see such a history being made before our eyes, life becomes blessed. Such historical events become the eternal consciousness of a nation’s life.”
Thanks to the dedication and commitment of the scientists and engineers at ISRO, the success of Chandrayaan- 3 was remarkable in many ways. This mission was built and launched at an estimated cost of Rs.615 crores, far less than the budgets of films like Adipurush. Moreover, this is one of India’s most cost effective space missions, cheaper than its predecessor Chandrayaan -2. The use of indigenous technology and components and the higher participation of women add more value to it.
The success has resulted in India being recognized at the global as the nation with a high potential in space science and technology. Over the past nine years, our Prime Minister has been taking several steps to encourage science, technology and innovation at all levels. In the field of space, the establishment of IN-SPACe as an autonomous body under the Department of Space in 2020 to create an eco-system of industry, academia and start-ups and to attract higher share in the global space economy was a significant step. Now it has become a vehicle for enhancing India’s performance in space.
Chandrayaan – 3 has so far sent us several details which have to be analyzed by the experts. Besides giving us very valuable scientific insights, there is going to be opportunities for home-grown start-ups and MSMEs, leading to creation of lakhs of jobs and paving ways for new inventions. The naming of the two historic points on the moon as Tiranga Point (foot-print of Chandrayaan-2) and ShivShakti Point (landing spot of Chandrayaan-3) connects our civilizational heritage with the New India emerging at the global level.
Our civilization has taught us look at the whole world as one family. Hence, the PM has pointed that India’s moon-mission is based on a human-centric approach and noted that the “success belongs to all of humanity”.
This success has enabled us to realize the potential of our nation in the field of space and “propel India’s journey beyond the moon’s orbit” To quote PM: “We will test the limits of our solar system, and we must work to realize the infinite possibilities of the universe for humans.”
The entire nation feels proud of Chandrayaan-3 and the achievements of ISRO. Surely it heralds the beginning of a New India in the world of space.
The writer is Secretary & Trustee, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi