India has become the first country to land at the lunar south pole, and we consider this very cool space news. Among the very coolest of space news, perhaps. And truth be told it is truly *monumental*. While many are discussing the usual geopolitical gossip that seemingly goes in tandem with such cool space news, the significance of the landing not for any one nation, but potentially for the human race, is huge. So today, to the nation of India, its brilliant scientists at Isro, and all those who worked towards #chandrayaan3, we salute your fine, very cool space work.
One of the mission’s principal aims will be to search for water-based ice that, scientists believe, could support future human habitation on the Moon. However, we would ask you to spare a thought at this time for the plucky little rover, who will wizz (albeit slowly) around the Moon’s south pole for one lunar day (around 14 Earth days.) Named Pragyan, which means “wisdom” in Sanskrit, the rover will analyze the elemental composition of the Moon’s surface, and assess the composition of elements like magnesium and aluminium in the lunar soil around the landing site.
But we can’t help but think of this cute little rover, its six wheels leaving imprints of Isro and India’s national emblem on the lunar surface, up there frightened, away from home, all alone 🙁