The Indian diaspora here is eagerly waiting for Chandrayaan-3's much-anticipated landing on the Moon on Wednesday with many of them saying the lunar mission will propel India as a global leader in space technology and inspire millions of children to take up science, physics and astronomy as their area of pursuit.
ISRO's ambitious third Moon mission Chandrayaan-3's Lander Module (LM) comprising the lander (Vikram) and the rover (Pragyan) is all set to land on the lunar surface on Wednesday evening at 6.04 pm, as India eyes becoming the first country to reach the uncharted south pole of Earth's only natural satellite.
“I am very excited about what Chandrayaan-3 can achieve for us,” New York-based commodity trader and Physics enthusiast Sandeep Daga told PTI.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission “is really a shot in the arm for the Indian space programme and the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). It will propel India as a global leader in space technology and it will inspire millions of kids to take up science, physics and astronomy as their area of pursuit. That's the way to go,” Daga said.
Daga, like many other members of the Indian diaspora here, are keenly following Chandrayaan-3's countdown to land on the lunar surface later today, propelling India to the elite space club of nations that have landed a rover on the moon.
Till now only three other nations - the US, China and the erstwhile Soviet Union - have landed a rover on the moon.
“I am very excited about Chandrayaan-3. We will be only the fourth country in the world to land a rover on the moon,” Daga said. Describing the lunar mission as a "moment of pride for India”, Daga underlined the project's massive economic impact.
“We know that the space economy is worth more than half a trillion dollars every quarter. So it is a pretty big deal. I see (Chandrayaan-3) as a vindication of India's technological prowess. And what's even more amazing is that we have achieved this mission at a cost of less than USD 75 million, which is much lower than what a Hollywood space movie would cost today,” he said.
“With this, we are firmly in the race to make a permanent establishment on the moon.”
Daga further noted that India will be the first country to land a rover on the lunar south pole.
“All prior missions have landed on the equator of the moon where the surface is quite flat and smooth. Trying to land it on one of the poles is extremely difficult because they have a large number of craters and mountains and it becomes technically quite challenging to land safely,” he said.
Daga added that Chandrayaan-3 can give immense data about water at the southern pole of the moon, which he said can be a very important input into having some permanent establishment on the surface of the moon.
“As a physics enthusiast, I'm quite excited about the fact that Chandrayaan-3 is going to scan the surface and give us more insights into the constituents of the Moon” including how Earth's natural satellite was formed.
“I am really looking forward to answers to some of these questions,” he said, which the Indian lunar mission can provide.
Bihar Foundation of US (East Coast Chapter) Chairman and former President of Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) Alok Kumar visited the Om Sri Sai Balaji Temple and Cultural Centre in New Jersey with his family and friends to offer prayers for the success of Chandrayaan-3.
“We pray that Chandrayaan-3 achieves success. The mission will write a new chapter in India's space programme and history,” Kumar said.
New Jersey-based cardiologist Dr Avinash Gupta said the Indian diaspora is very excited and eager to watch Chandrayaan-3's successful landing on the Moon.
“We want to congratulate the scientists and teams of ISRO for making us proud and making India shine in the world,” Gupta said.
Members of the leading diaspora organisations Federation of Indian Associations of NY NJ CT and NE (FIA) also wished success to the Indian lunar mission.
FIA's past president Srujal Parikh congratulated and lauded the entire team of ISRO, saying the lunar mission will forever be hailed as among India's biggest achievements.