Chandrayaan-3 Moon Landing in India: Follow Live Updates

Mujeeb MeshaalHarry Kumar

credit…Rajesh Kakadi/Associated Press

India’s recent efforts in space exploration closely mirror the country’s diplomatic push as an ambitious power on the rise.

Indian officials advocate a multipolar world order in which New Delhi is seen as indispensable to global solutions. And in space exploration, as in so many other areas, the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been clear: The world will be a fairer place if India takes the lead, even as the world’s most populous country works to meet its needs. basic needs of its people. needs.

This assertiveness on the world stage is a central message to the campaign of Mr. Modi, who is preparing for re-election to a third term early next year. He has often combined his image with that of India’s rise as an economic, diplomatic and technological powerhouse.

“Thanks to our scientists, India has a very rich history in the space sector,” Mr. Modi said after launching Chandrayaan-3 to the moon last month. “This remarkable mission will carry forward the hopes and dreams of our nation.”

India aims to be only the fourth country to achieve a moon landing – after the United States, the Soviet Union and China – and the first to do so in the lunar south pole region.

Much of India’s foreign policy in recent decades has been shaped by the delicate balancing act between Washington and Moscow, as the country grapples with an increasingly aggressive China on its borders. The two countries’ militaries have been locked in a Himalayan standoff for two years, and the threat from China is a major factor in India’s calculations.

Shared frustration with Beijing has only led to increased US and Indian cooperation, including in space, as China establishes itself in direct competition with the United States. Russia’s failed moon landing just days before India’s successful attempt was the latest indication of Moscow’s struggles as a space power.

On the day India attempted to land on the moon, Mr Modi was in South Africa attending a meeting of the group of nations known as BRICS. Much attention will be focused on whether Mr Modi will sit down for talks on the sidelines of the summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which will be the first proper bilateral discussion between the two leaders since the deadly skirmishes between their militaries in 2020.

India’s cost-effective approach to space exploration “makes India the preferred launch point for many countries for low-Earth orbit communications satellites,” said Bharat Karnad, professor emeritus of national security studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi.

But the potential success of Chandrayaan-3 comes at a particularly important moment in the country’s renaissance, Mr Karnad said, and Mr Modi could reap the benefits by drawing on India’s scientific prowess to “more confidently assert India’s national interest on the world stage”. “

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