Chandrayaan-3 scripted history in space technology

K N Pandita
Referring to ISRO’s failure to soft-land Chandrayaan-2 in 2019, Prime Minister Modi said that failure always teaches us how to succeed. While attending the BRICS summit in South Africa, the Prime Minister took off a few minutes to watch the thrilling closing scene of the successful soft-landing of Chandrayaan-3. As the machine touched the surface after 40 days of journey to escape the earth’s gravitation and enter the moon’s gravitational pull, the entire team of Indian scientists at ISRO was agog with joy. The Prime Minister addressed them extolling their capability, dedication and sense of service to the nation
India has become the fourth nation in the world that has successfully soft-landed their satellites on the surface of the moon. However, she is the first among the four that have planted the tri-colour on the southern pole of the moon, generally considered difficult and forbidding because of the existence of brig craters on the moon and its extremely cold climate to the tune of -200 degrees Celsius. More than four decades ago, the US satellite had made the maiden landing on the moon but then Washington almost decided not to send a satellite any more to the moon.
Because of the failure of Chandrayaan-2, the entire team of space scientists was rather sceptical about the success of Chandrayaan-3. It is this fear of repetition of failure that made scientists exceptionally careful in identifying the causes of the failure of earlier efforts and consequently plugging all the loopholes that might have escaped their hawkish eyes while launching the Chandrayaan-3.
This is why despite little scepticism; the scientists were hopeful of their ability to achieve the goal. The entire world was closely watching the journey of Chandrayaan-3 to its destination. The ISRO kept the nation and the world informed of every stage of the long and tedious journey of the satellite. In his short address to the ISRO scientists, PM Modi rightly said that the day will be written in letters of gold in the history of free India. The Indian nation has a right to be proud of the laurels their scientists have won. First, they rejoice in pride that even from the smallest to the biggest component of the Chandrayaan-3, all were of indigenous make thereby giving great credibility to PM Modi’s initiative of Make in Bharat and “atamnirbhar Bharat”. The success of Chandrayaan-3 has become a source of inspiration for the entire nation and especially the technology-savvy segment of Indian society that nothing is impossible to achieve if the objective is of universal good and beneficial to all humanity.
The fact is that although the nation is on the right track of development through scientific and technological means we still have a long way to go to become a nation that has banished poverty, ignorance and injustice. We have to remove unacceptable discrimination among people and create the true semblance of Ram Raj. If we make discoveries and inventions, that is fine and desirable but the ultimate objective has to be the welfare of the people of this country.
We have seen a drastic change in India in terms of economy, governance, justice and development. What we have achieved in the last decade is a strong incentive for our entrepreneurs, engineers, researchers, business magnates etc. to explore more avenues of employment, increase our stocks and, above all, lift the standard of living of people in all walks of life. This is the age of science and technology, of honest and fair business, of cooperation and collaboration and not of confrontation.
That is why the Prime Minister said in his message to the ISRO space scientists that today’s success brings some responsibility to us that we extend cooperation to other nations in their struggle to ameliorate their standards of living. The benefits of lunar research should not remain confined to India, he exhorted. He went on to say that landing on the moon does not mean we have achieved something and we have no need to do more. He said we are already geared to survey the Solar system and have also the blueprint of humans landing on the moon. India would strongly support lunar tourism when the time comes because the preliminaries that have brought us success are strong incentives to conduct more research in the solar system.
The precision with which the scientists completed the mission also reminds us of the great advancement that ancient Indian astronomy had made in the course of history. Voices have been raised from time to time to add Indian Astronomical science to the curriculum from early classes. While the journey of soft-landing of Chandrayaan-3 was underway, millions of Indians of all faiths attended their worshipping places to pray for the successful landing of the satellite. As soon as the good news of the successful landing was announced, the entire country broke into an unprecedented hilarious mood.
Crackers went off, and groups of people thronged the streets and parks to dance to the beat of drums, Merrymaking, dancing in colourful dresses and playing musical instruments, flutes, tabla and harmonium were seen crowding the streets within minutes. From Kashmir to Kanya Kumari and from Kathiawar to Kolkata, there was no major town that did not go colourful. Some said that after the Covid, for the first time true happiness had come to them with this historic event. The soldiers in their barracks and posts danced and raised peals of laughter out of joy and superb achievement. The President, Home Minister and Defence Minister congratulated the scientists and the nation. This was our moment of pride. Dr Jitendra Singh, MOS in PMO, who is also in charge of ISRO, sat with the scientists throughout the anxious moments and gave them moral support.
India has paved the way to achieve a prestigious place among the nations of the world. This is because her fundamental foreign policy is based on the Vedic teaching Vasudeva Kutumbakam – the world is my family.