India managed to achieve the feat on a pretty impressive budget
India has celebrated an historic achievement this week after the country managed to land a rover on the Moon.
On Wednesday, at 18:02 Indian Standard Time (13:32 British Summer Time), the Vikram lander successful touched down near the Moon’s south pole, after two weeks in orbit.
It then released the Chandrayaan-3 rover, which has been exploring the region since.
India is now just the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, after the US, the former Soviet Union and China.
What’s perhaps most impressive about India’s landing though is the budget they managed to do it on.
The Ch-3 Rover mission cost just 6.15bn rupees, which works out at around $75 million.
For context, the US spent roughly $250 billion on its various Apollo missions throughout the 1960s and 70s.
In fact, India’s moon mission isn’t just cheap by space exploration standards – it’s also less than some films about space.
Meanwhile, Matt Damon‘s ‘The Martian’ cost $108m to make.
Speaking after the landing, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi said it was an incredible achievement for the country.
“It is a matter of pride and a pat on the back for Indian scientists,” Modi said on Thursday. “India is now on the Moon.
“India has reached the south pole of the Moon – no other country has achieved that. We are witnessing history.”
The technology onboard both the lander and the rover will study the south pole for one lunar day, which is the equivalent of two weeks here on Earth. Updates of the mission’s progress will be shared by ISRO as and when they come about.