According to a recent write-up in Futurism, India has announced plans to make history by putting human beings on the moon for the first time in over five decades. If successful, this would make India only the second country to put boots on the lunar surface, with no other country accomplishing the feat besides the United States, which sent its first successful manned mission to the satellite in 1969. In the years since, four countries have successfully landed unmanned spacecraft on the moon’s surface, with India accomplishing the task earlier this year.
India, having reached the Moon a few months ago, is now preparing for a manned mission.
Just months ago, the Indian Space Research Organization, or ISRO, successfully landed an unmanned rover called the Chandrayaan-3 on the moon’s surface for the first time in the nation’s history. This feat was doubly impressive, as it marked the first-ever lunar landing on the satellite’s South Pole, which has gone famously unexplored due to its incredibly rugged terrain. From this feat, India was able to garner a better understanding of lunar earthquakes, which can be caused by the tiniest source of outside activity and can have massive seismic readings.
Beyond the moon, India has also launched missions such as the Aditya-Li solar observatory mission, which is set to relay over the Sun’s gravitational pull in the next few months, reaching distances of over 1 million miles from the Earth’s atmosphere.
Surely, the country has become empowered by this marvel of science and technology, encouraging Indian scientists and researchers to delve even further into lunar travel by planning a manned mission to the moon by 2040. This timeline was provided by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a recent press release despite the country’s relatively limited space travel budget. Though the nation spent only $74 million in getting the Chandrayaan-3 to the moon, the trip was a massive success, proving that collaborative efforts between the nation’s top minds know no budgetary restraints.
For those who think that 2040 is too distant for another moon expedition, the nation has also announced plans to partner with Japan for a lunar mission in 2025.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission marked India’s second attempt to land on the moon, with the Chandrayaan-2 probe losing contact with mission control in the atmosphere in 2019. Beyond the moon, India has also launched missions such as the Aditya-Li solar observatory mission, which is set to relay over the Sun’s gravitational pull in the next few months, reaching distances of over 1 million miles from the Earth’s atmosphere. Though the mission has received less coverage than India’s moon missions, the feat is incredibly exciting for fans of space travel and advancements in our understanding of space.
For those who think that 2040 is too distant for another moon expedition, the nation has also announced plans to partner with Japan for a lunar mission in 2025. This mission is set to focus on the existence and discovery of water on the moon, which has been a major hot topic for scientists for years now, as it could mean an opportunity to synthesize fuel beyond that of the Earth’s surface. If water is discovered on the satellite, it could have massive ramifications for space travel, essentially turning the moon into an international refueling station.
While India’s lofty lunar goals are inspiring, there’s no telling what discoveries in science and technology will deliver next. With any luck, we may soon be seeing a renascence of space travel, which rivals the success of previous NASA missions. One thing’s for certain, the moon is facing a great deal of activity in its near future.