Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) celebrates a remarkable milestone as Chandrayaan-3 achieves a successful soft landing on the lunar south pole at 6.04 PM (IST).
Only three nations - the US, China, and Soviet Union - have ever touched down on Earth's satellite, and none have successfully made it to the south pole.
The challenge became evident recently as a Russian spacecraft crashed in its attempt, leaving the opportunity for India to redefine lunar exploration.
If there is the presence of water ice, it would offer the potential for fuel, oxygen, drinking water, and insights into lunar volcanoes and Earth's ocean origins.
Vikram lander's successful touch down ends the disappointment from Chandrayaan-2's crash-landing, establishing India as the fourth nation in history to achieve a soft landing on the Moon.
As the Vikram lander assesses its health, the Pragyan rover begins its mission, marking the initiation of Chandrayaan-3's 14 days of science observations. ISRO plans to develop robotic path planning for future lunar exploration.
After a few hours, the spacecraft's lander deploys a rover that will spend two weeks gathering rock samples, images, and data. During the fortnight, it will run a series of experiments to determine the mineral composition of the lunar surface.
The focus for the rover will be examining the presence of water ice in the craters dotted around the moon's south pole.