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India on the cusp of becoming 4th nation on the Moon: Minister Jitendra Singh

India is on the cusp of “becoming the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to land on the Moon” with Isro’s most potent rocket LVM-3 carrying the Chandrayaan-3 module on its tip standing tall on the launchpad in Sriharikota and the lunar craft raring to begin its Moon journey next Friday, said space minister Jitendra Singh.

Jitendra Singh on the decision to land on the moon

The minister said, “After a quantum rise in our space expertise, India can no longer wait to be left behind in its march to the Moon.”

After landing on Moon, the space minister said, the Chandrayaan-3 rover with six wheels will come out of the lander and is expected to work for 14 days on the lunar surface. “With the support of multiple cameras on the rover, we will be able to receive images,” Singh added.

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The space minister said the primary objectives of the Chandrayaan-3 mission are threefold: to demonstrate a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface; to demonstrate rover roving on the Moon; and to conduct in-situ scientific experiments.

Jitendra Singh said, “PM Modi’s recent US visit was marked by significant space-related agreements (like the signing of the Artemis accords and joint space missions) indicating that the countries, which had started their space journey long before India, are today looking up to India as an equal collaborator,” by crediting Modi for “breaking the taboos of the past” in the space sector by providing an enabling environment for space workers and taking path-breaking decisions like unlocking the space sector for the private sector.

The space minister, Jitendra Singh also said that based on the current trajectory of growth, India’s space sector could be a $1 trillion economy in the coming years. Currently, the space economy in India is minimal accounting for about 2.1% of the global space economy in 2020 amounting to $9.6 billion, which is 0.4$ of the country’s GDP.

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