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Watch the moment when India achieves historic moon landing

India has made history by becoming the first nation to land near the lunar South Pole — and only the fourth country to perform a successful soft landing on the moon.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission achieved the feat in the early evening local time on Wednesday after its Vikram lander module touched down on the lunar surface as planned. Engineers at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) are now checking that Vikram’s systems are in good working order.

The tense final moments of the lander’s descent were live-streamed from Mission Control in Bengaluru, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also part of the broadcast as he watched events unfold. You can watch the final moments of the mission in the video below

Chandrayaan-3 Mission Soft-landing LIVE Telecast

“India is now on the moon,” Modi said in an address shortly after the successful lunar landing, adding that the mission’s success “belongs to all of humanity” and was “not just India’s alone.”

Only the U.S., China, and the former Soviet Union have succeeded in the challenging task of nailing a soft landing on the surface of our nearest neighbor. Russia failed in an attempt just a few days ago, while India fell short in another effort four years ago.

The lunar South Pole is of great scientific interest as it’s believed to hold water ice, an important resource that could aid future crewed missions to the moon. NASA is also planning to explore the region in a future mission.

As the Indian nation celebrates becoming part of an exclusive club, the Vikram lander will soon deploy a small rover called Pragyan that will use an array of scientific instruments to explore its surroundings before beaming back its discoveries.

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Trevor Mogg
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