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India’s Chandrayaan-3 Achieves Historic Moon Landing Near South Pole

India has become the first country to successfully land a spacecraft near the moon’s south pole.

The spacecraft Chandrayaan-3 will now spend two weeks looking for ice water, which could support astronauts on future Moon and Mars explorations.

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India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this moment was unforgettable and phenomenal.

“India is now on the moon. India has reached the south pole of the moon – no other country has achieved that. We are witnessing history.”

The south pole is far from the equatorial region targeted by previous missions, including the crewed Apollo landings. 

India has now become only the fourth country to successfully land on the moon, following the US, China and the former Soviet Union.

If the mission succeeds, the ice water could allow future crew missions to establish a base there, as it could be used to extract oxygen and fuel.

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Carla Filotico, a partner and managing director at consultancy SpaceTec Partners, said: “This is very important for cumulative data and science on the geology of the moon.” 

Some scientists believe that the south pole, an area obscured from Earth’s view with craters and trenches, could potentially be the most reliable location for a future base.

The chief justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud, said: “The success of the lunar mission places India in a select group of nations to successfully achieve a landing on the lunar surface,”

“This represents a milestone in the march of the nation.”

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