First to the Moon’s South Pole Stands a Proud India

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India’s Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM3) M4 vehicle at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (Image Credit: PTI)

India has officially become the first-ever country to land a spacecraft near the Moon’s south pole, discovering new regions of the Moon that could be storing vital supplies of frozen water. 

After failing in 2019 to land on the Moon, this successful landing would make India the fourth-ever country to land on the Moon, behind the United States, Soviet Union, and China. 

lunar rover from the lunar lander will begin tests on the area, including an analysis of the mineral composition of the lunar surface. This mission, which started a month ago, is expected to last another two weeks, with an estimated cost of around 75 million dollars. 

India’s successful mission to the Moon comes just days after Russia’s own lunar lander, which was aimed at the same region but spun into uncontrolled orbit and crashed. The head of Russia’s state-controlled space corporation placed the blame on the lack of experience and expertise from the absence of any lunar research since the last Soviet mission to the Moon in 1976.

Recent global interest in the Moon exists for numerous reasons, primarily the desire for precious resources that can be found on the Moon. Recourses found on the Moon, such as water, helium 3, and other rare earth elements, will be able to bring economic benefits to countries’ economies if brought back successfully. Specifically, nations such as India are focusing on the south pole of the Moon for future investigation. This area provides the best prospects for water ice, a helpful resource that is capable of supporting astronauts and making rocket fuel. This area also has peaks in near-constant or constant sunlight, making it great for potentially being used to generate power to support lunar activities. 

India’s moon landing has brought numerous benefits, but one of the biggest benefits has been in boosting India’s image. After the failure to land on the Moon in 2019, the success of being the first country to ever land on the Moon’s south pole demonstrated to the world the resilience and dedication of India’s scientists. Millions of children in India now watch as their country achieves what no other country has ever managed to accomplish. In addition, the resources from the Moon will be able to greatly help India and the world in the fight against climate change. India’s space research will be able to predict weather patterns while also monitoring water levels, both of which are extremely important in the fight against climate change. What’s more, research on helium 3, a helium isotope found on the Moon, has the potential to serve as a renewable energy source. The recourses gained could also bring numerous economic benefits back to India. 

Written by Kevin Han

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