“I may be in South Africa but my heart has always been with the Chandrayaan mission." These are words of Indian Prime Minister Nerendra Modi who was celebrating the historical soft-landing of the Chandrayaan-3 on the moon - making India the first country to land near the moon’s south pole.
Modi made a brief address on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he congratulated the scientists as well as the entire mission team.
"Chandrayaan-3's triumph mirrors the aspirations and capabilities of 140 crore Indians. To new horizons and beyond! Proud moment for India," Modi also said on his Twitter account.
Meanwhile, Delhi-based journalist Sharad Raghavan described the mood in his country as "electric" following the descent and the landing.
"Everybody was glued to the screen, watching. For instance, 40 minutes before landing, millions of people were streaming live and watching," he said.
Raghavan added that the landing of Chandrayaan is symbolic and an important part of Indian culture.
"The Indian calendar is mapped around the lunar cycle. The moon is important for the people of India. This achievement is fantastic. India has been very keen in the advancement of science," he added, saying the rover was also carrying sensors for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) as well.
"We're advancing in science across the world," highlighted Raghavan.
This is, however, not the first time Chandrayaan attempted a landing on the moon. Previously, it failed due to a recalibrating technical glitch.
"We were almost successful the last time but failed. But this time we exceeded all expectations," said Raghavan.
Meanwhile, although Modi is set to travel to Greece after the Summit in South Africa, there are likely plenty of celebrations that will take place upon returning to his native land.