India launched an impressive mission to land a lunar rover on the moon’s far side.
Mission controllers cheered and applauded as the £57 million Chandrayaan-3 rocket launched from a launch pad in Sriharikota, southern India.
As they watched the rocket soar into the sky, large crowds shouted and waved the flag.
“Congratulations India,” said Sreedhara Panicker Somanath, the space agency’s director. The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft has begun its ascent to the moon.
India, the country with the fastest economic growth and a GDP worth $2 trillion, is making its second attempt at an uncrewed lunar landing.
A successful mission now would make India the fourth country to reach the lunar surface after the US, Russia, and China. A previous effort crashed into the lunar surface in 2019.
From passengers until the launch moment inside NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission
Underway for liftoff from passengers until the launch moment inside NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission
The First Moon mission launched by Musk’s SpaceX is a significant step toward plans for a lunar base.
A single step first Moon mission launched by Musk’s SpaceX is a significant step toward plans for a lunar base.
On August 23 or 24, the Chandrayaan, also known as the “Moon Vehicle,” which is equipped with a lander and a rover, is scheduled to make a closer landing at the lunar south pole than any previous mission.
The last manned voyage from the United States was in 1972, but NASA aims to construct a space station that will orbit the moon to allow people to travel there.
The Indian space program has flourished and, in 2014, launched a spacecraft into orbit above Mars despite having a budget of only £1.3 billion, or approximately a tenth of that of NASA.
But the UK, which has given the strong but impoverished Asian country £2.3 billion in taxpayer-funded aid since 2016, has criticized India for its space ambitions.