'Incredible! Thoroughly impressed...' NASA and ESA celebrate ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 Moon landing
Notably, US National Aeronautics and Space Administration and European Space Agency ground stations have played a crucial role in monitoring the health of India's lunar mission spacecraft, Chandrayaan-3.
American space agency NASA has congratulated its Indian counterpart ISRO for successfully landing on the South Pole of the Moon. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson also extended his greetings to India on being the fourth country to successfully soft-land a spacecraft on the Moon.
Nelson took to micro-blogging site X (formerly Twitter) to say, "Congratulations @isro on your successful Chandrayaan-3 lunar South Pole landing! And congratulations to #India on being the 4th country to successfully soft-land a spacecraft on the Moon. We are glad to be your partner on this mission!"
Also wishing India was European Space Agency Director General Josef Aschbacher, who said: "Incredible! Congratulations to ISRO, Chandrayaan-3, and to all the people of India! What a way to demonstrate new technologies and achieve India’s first soft landing on another celestial body. Well done, I am thoroughly impressed.
"And kudos once again to @esaoperations for your precious support through this process. We, too, are learning great lessons and providing crucial expertise. A strong international partner is a powerful partner," he added.
Notably, NASA and ESA ground stations have played a crucial role in monitoring the health of India's lunar mission spacecraft, Chandrayaan-3. ESA has been providing steadfast support to the mission since its launch, relying on two ground stations within the ESTRACK network. These stations are responsible for meticulously tracking the satellite's orbital movements, collecting vital telemetry data, and transmitting it to the Mission Operations Centre (MOC) in Bengaluru.
During the critical descent phase, a 35-meter deep space antenna located in New Norcia, Australia, part of the ESTRACK network, acted as a backup to ISRO's ground station. Simultaneously, it received real-time data pertaining to the Lander Module's condition, position, and trajectory, running in parallel with the ISRO station. This telemetry data played a pivotal role in validating the success of the lunar landing. This backup assistance is standard practice during mission-critical phases, such as the landing.
NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) made significant contributions by providing tracking coverage and telemetry support throughout the powered descent journey. Deep Space Stations DSS-36 and DSS-34, located at the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex, along with DSS-65 at the Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex, were instrumental in delivering this crucial coverage.
NASA's primary assistance for the mission came from the DSN complex in California, strategically positioned on the opposite side of the Earth from India. This positioning allowed for a continuous line-of-sight to the Moon, even when Chandrayaan-3 was not visible from the Indian station, ensuring seamless tracking and communication support.