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Elon Musk Applauds India's Lunar Feat, A Victory Good for India

ISRO's Lunar Leap: Chandrayaan-3's Success Elevates India's Space Prowess

24 August 2023

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Kunal Tyagi

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  • Chandrayaan-3's Vikram lander attempts a historic soft landing on the moon's south pole, a monumental achievement by ISRO that garners global admiration.

  • Elon Musk praises India's lunar mission on X, highlighting the mission's $75 million cost in contrast to the $165 million budget of "Interstellar," sparking debates on exploration versus entertainment funds.

  • India's successful lunar landing on August 23 near the moon's south pole cements its place alongside the US, Russia, and China as a nation with a rover on the lunar surface, drawing congratulations from leaders and entrepreneurs worldwide.

As the sun sets on Wednesday, a new dawn of achievement rises for India as the Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-3 attempts its soft landing on the moon's enigmatic south pole. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set a remarkable precedent, capturing the global imagination and drawing accolades from all corners of the world.


Even the tech visionary Elon Musk, the face behind Tesla and SpaceX, took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to express his admiration for India's moon mission. The cost of Chandrayaan-3, estimated at $75 million, stands in stark contrast to the budget of Christopher Nolan's blockbuster "Interstellar," which amounted to $165 million. Musk's response resonated with many, igniting discussions about the allocation of resources for exploration versus entertainment.


Engagement on the topic surged further when an X user juxtaposed the costs in Indian Rupees, pointing out that the value still exceeded ₹6.15 billion, an amount of significance even for India's economy. This debate sparked various perspectives, with some highlighting that the investment leverages lessons and technologies from previous missions.


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Chandrayaan-3 is the sequel to the 2019 Chandrayaan-2 mission, where the Vikram lander faced an unfortunate fate by crashing on the lunar surface. Success in this endeavor would catapult India into an elite group of nations that have achieved soft landings on the moon, a feat accomplished so far only by the United States, the Soviet Union, and China.


In a remarkable milestone on August 23, India achieved a historic landing on the far side of the moon, particularly near the south pole. This accomplishment positioned India alongside the United States, Russia, and China as a member of the exclusive club with a rover on the lunar surface. The global community showered ISRO with congratulatory messages, including world leaders, embassies, and influential entrepreneurs.


Elon Musk, being one of the most prominent names in space innovation, lauded India's success, tweeting "Congratulations India" in response to ISRO's images capturing the lunar surface during the descent of Chandrayaan-3's lander module. Comprising both the Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover, Chandrayaan-3's triumphant touch down at the lunar south pole on August 3 marked a pivotal moment. India's accomplishment solidified its place as the fourth nation mastering the intricate art of soft landings, a testament to the remarkable progress following the footsteps of the US, China, and the erstwhile Soviet Union.


The launch of Chandrayaan-3 on July 14 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota heralded a new chapter in India's space exploration journey. With its eyes fixed on the skies and feet grounded in determination, ISRO not only etched its name in lunar exploration but also ignited discussions on the rightful allocation of resources for the betterment of humanity's understanding of the universe.


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