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India has landed its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the moon, becoming only the fourth nation ever to accomplish such a feat.
The mission could cement India’s status as a global superpower in space. Previously, only the United States, China and the former Soviet Union have completed soft landings on the lunar surface.
Chandrayaan-3’s landing site is also closer to the moon’s south pole than any other spacecraft in history has ventured. The south pole region is considered an area of key scientific and strategic interest for spacefaring nations, as scientists believe the region to be home to water ice deposits.
The water, frozen in shadowy craters, could be converted into rocket fuel or even drinking water for future crewed missions.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, currently in South Africa for the BRICS Summit, watched the landing virtually and shared broadcas