A proud moment for Indians everywhere as Chandrayaan-3 touched down successfully on the lunar south pole (also known as the dark side of the moon). Congratulations to all the people who made this launch a success. With this India becomes the 4th country to land on the moon and the first to reach the South Pole of the moon.
The lunar South Pole region holds particular interest for scientific exploration due to studies that show large amounts of ice there. Mountainous terrain and unpredictable lighting conditions not only protect the ice from melting but also make landing scientific probes there a challenging undertaking. This ice could contain solid-state compounds that would normally melt under warmer conditions elsewhere on the Moon, compounds which could provide insight into lunar, Earth, and Solar System history. Ice could also be used as a source of drinking water and hydrogen for fuel and oxygen for future manned missions and outposts
What is more remarkable is the cost at which India has achieved this. The Chandrayaan-3 cost was sent to the Moon at a cost of $75 million, according to Reuters. That is less than the cost of most blockbuster space films. Gravity cost $100 million, The Martian cost $108 million – and it was less than half the cost of Interstellar, which was filmed on a budget of $165 million.
It even costs less than some houses. The UK’s most expensive house, for instance, went on sale at £200 million, or nearly three-and-a-half missions to the Moon.
Here is a great animation of the trajectory the space vehicle followed to get to the moon.