NASA administrator congratulates India on Chandrayaan-3 success, hails partnership on Artemis Accords


WASHINGTON: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Bill Nelson on Wednesday congratulated India and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on the successful soft landing of Chandrayaan-3.

He also hailed the India-US partnership on Artemis Accords which aims to establish a common vision via a practical set of principles, guidelines, and best practices.

“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’re glad to be your partner on this mission!” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said on X (formerly Twitter).

The Artemis Accord is a non-binding agreement with no financial commitments. The purpose of these Accords is to establish a common vision via a practical set of principles, guidelines, and best practices to enhance the “governance of the civil exploration and use of outer space with the intention of advancing the Artemis program”.

Earlier in June, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US, India became the 27th country to sign the Artemis Accords.

PM Modi announced India joining the Artemis Accords, and US Vice President Kamala Harris thanked him for the decision.

NASA administrator Bill Nelson and India’s ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu participated in the signing ceremony.

“On behalf of NASA, on behalf of President Biden and Vice President Harris, we are very pleased to grow our partnership with India here on Earth and in space,” said Administrator Bill Nelson.

“As we venture farther out into the cosmos than ever before, how we go is as important as what we do when we reach our destinations. We want to go in a peaceful way. We want to go in a transparent way. And we want to support each other in times of trouble. We are very grateful for India’s leadership in signing the Artemis Accords and look forward to all that we will accomplish together,” he stated.

Indian envoy Taranjit Singh Sandhu said that India is taking a landmark step in becoming a party to the Artemis Accords, a momentous occasion for our bilateral space cooperation.

“We reiterate India’s commitment to space exploration underpinned by new levels of cooperation and progress. India is a responsible space power and places the highest importance on the peaceful and sustainable use of outer space. We are confident that the Artemis Accords will advance a rule-based approach to outer space. It also underlines our collective belief that exploration is not just the pursuit of knowledge – of knowing the unknown – but is a catalyst in advancing the betterment of humanity. In that sense, signing of these Accords highlights the evolution of a partnership into one for global good,” Sandhu stated.

NASA, in coordination with the US Department of State, established the Artemis Accords in 2020 together with seven other founding member nations. The Artemis Accords reinforce and implement key obligations in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. They also reinforce the commitment by the United States and signatory nations to the Registration Convention, the Rescue and Return Agreement, as well as best practices and norms of responsible behaviour that NASA and its partners have supported, including the public release of scientific data.

Additional countries will sign the Artemis Accords in the months and years ahead, as NASA continues to work with its international partners to establish a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space. Working with both new and existing partners will add new energy and capabilities to ensure the entire world can benefit from our journey of exploration and discovery, NASA said in a statement.

Meanwhile, it was a giant leap for India on Wednesday evening, as the Chandrayaan-3 lander module successfully landed on the moon’s South Pole. It brought an end to the disappointment over the crash landing of the Chandrayaan-2, four years ago.

As the Vikram lander carrying the Pragyaan rover in its belly touched down on the lunar surface, it marked a giant leap in India’s spacefaring journey providing a well-deserved finale to ISRO’s long years of toil.

This makes India the fourth country – after the US, China, and Russia – to have successfully landed on the moon’s surface, it has earned a place in record books as the first to touchdown on the south side of Earth’s only natural satellite.

Special screenings of the soft landing were organized across the country, including schools science centers, and public institutions. ISRO made the live action available on the ISRO website, its YouTube channel, Facebook, and public broadcaster DD National TV.

The spacecraft was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota on July 14. (ANI)

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