Aug 24, 2023

India Makes Historic Landing on Moon’s South Pole Transcript

India Makes Historic Landing on Moon's South Pole Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsIndiaIndia Makes Historic Landing on Moon’s South Pole Transcript

India made history by becoming the first country to reach the lunar south pole, using an uncrewed robotic moon lander that touched down on the moon’s south region. Read the transcript here.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.

Speaker 1 (00:00):

It is a historic day in space, India has become the first country to reach the south pole of the moon, and the fourth country to ever land on the moon. Get this, a robotic moon lander known as the Chandrayaan-3, it touched down this morning. The SUV size lander has its own rover, which will test mineral composition and seismic activity over the next couple of weeks. Russia and India have been in a tight race to see who could get their spacecraft to the lunar south pole first. Russia crashed their spacecraft into the moon a few days ago. So not only is this a big deal for India, it’s a big deal for the US too. Joining us now to help explain this connection is former NASA astronaut and commander at the International Space Station, Leroy Chiao. Commander, it’s a pleasure to have you here with us. Break this down for us. What did India do right in this situation and what did Russia do wrong?

Leroy Chiao (00:55):

Sure, this was a pretty huge moment. India has a vibrant space program. They’ve been up and coming for a few years now, and this was quite an accomplishment. Only the fourth nation in the world to successfully soft land a probe on the moon. The first nation to put a probe down on the south pole, which takes a little more precision because you’ve got to make the orbit changes and it has to be done correctly so that the spacecraft gets to where it’s supposed to go. And so congratulations to them. As you pointed out, Russia did crash their Luna-25 a few days ago. They were racing to beat the Indians to that landing sites. President Putin desperately wanting a PR win, if you will, or a national prestige win. That didn’t go so well for them. And that’s a little bit of an indicator of the decline of the Russian space program. And so India has really shown that they are now becoming a big space power. And it’s interesting to contrast that with what’s going on with Russia.

Speaker 1 (01:55):

Yeah. So back in 2008, India actually made the discovery of water on the moon south pole, right? NASA confirmed those findings pretty soon after. Why is finding more water resources on the moon such a big deal moving forward?

Leroy Chiao (02:10):

So the south pole is interesting because a large part of the south pole never sees daylight. That is the sun never shines there. And so the idea is that there is a relatively large amount of water, water ice just below the surface, so pretty close to the surface. And the reason that’s important is because if you’re going to establish a base there, like NASA wants to do, you need access to something like water, of course, just to support your crew, drinking water, just plain drinking water. But also you can electrolyze it and separate it into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen, of course, can be used to supply your breathing in your habitat. The oxygen and hydrogen can be used to help create propellants that you might use to refuel your spacecraft. So for a number of reasons, water is very important if you’re going to actually put a base there. Otherwise, you’re going to be totally dependent on supply chain coming from the earth.

Speaker 1 (03:08):

All right, so it is all the future and you could also potentially launch over to Mars from being in that area. Is that right?

Leroy Chiao (03:15):

Right. And so in the NASA architecture, we’re going to have something called a Gateway, which is a small space station that orbits the moon. And so we would stage perhaps a Mars program from there, having astronauts transport from the earth to the gateway and then transfer into another vehicle to go somewhere like Mars.

Speaker 1 (03:34):

Wow. Commander Leroy Chiao, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.