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PM Modi declares August 23 as National Space Day, says India now in front row of nations

Source : The Indian Express

PM Modi declares August 23 as National Space Day, says India now in front row of nations

PM Modi declares August 23 as National Space Day, says India now in front row of nations

Bengaluru: Congratulating the Indian Space Research Organisation for taking “Make in India to the Moon”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared Saturday that August 23, the day the Chandrayaan-3 Lander Module touched down on the lunar surface, will henceforth be observed as National Space Day.

He also announced the naming of the Chandrayaan-3 landing site as Shiv Shakti point and the crash site of the failed Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2019 as Tiranga point.

Flying directly to Bengaluru from Athens — he had travelled to Greece from South Africa, and had watched the Chandrayaan-3 landing from  Johannesburg where he was attending the the BRICS Summit — the Prime Minister, in a 45-minute speech at the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) centre, called the Moon landing a turning point in India’s position as a spacefaring nation in the world.

“For the first time in the history of man and the history of Earth, humans are seeing images of that part of the Moon. And India has done the job of showing these images to the world. All you scientists have done it, and the whole world is appreciative of our scientific spirit, our technology, and our scientific temperament,” he said.

He was shown images of the Chandrayaan-3 landing and of the rover on the Moon by ISRO Chairman S Somanath. “Images take a lot of time to be transmitted to Earth due to data rate and processing,” Somanath told the PM.

“The rover has moved almost out of the field of view (of the lander camera) this morning,” Somanath said. “It (the rover) will turn later in the day today and look at the lander and take more pictures.” Photographs taken by the rover have not been released in the public domain by ISRO.

Hailing the work of ISRO scientists and all involved in the Chandrayaan-3 project, Modi said, “My dear family members, as you know, there is a scientific tradition of naming the touchdown points on the Moon by space missions… The point where the Chandrayaan-3 Moon lander has landed will be known as Shiv Shakti.”

He also announced the naming of the Chandrayaan-2 crash landing point as Tiranga.

“There is another naming ceremony which has been pending for a long time. Four years ago, when Chandrayaan-2 reached near the Moon and left its mark, there was a proposal to name the site. But in those circumstances, we did not take a decision and instead decided that when Chandrayaan-3 successfully reaches the Moon, then we will name both the points,” he said.

“Today, I feel that since there is a Tiranga (The Tricolour) in every house, when every mind is Tiranga and the Tiranga is on the Moon, so other than Tiranga what other name can we give the place linked to Chandrayaan-2. So the place where Chandrayaan-2 left its impression will now be known as Tiranga,” he said.

“The Tiranga point will be an encouragement for all Indian endeavours and will teach us that no failure is ultimate. If there is determination, then success is guaranteed. The place where Chandrayaan-2 left its impression will be known as Tiranga and the point where Chandrayaan-3 has landed will be known as Shiv Shakti,” he said.

The enormity of the success of the soft robotic landing on the Moon by the Chandrayaan-3 lander, the Prime Minister said, should be seen in the context of where India began its space journey.

“There was a time when India did not have the required technology and there was no help and we were equated with third world countries and we were in the third row of nations. We have left that position and today, India has the fifth largest economy in the world,” he said.

“Today, India is in the first row of nations. Organisations like ISRO have contributed to this change. You have taken Make in India to the Moon,” he said.

“To encourage future generations, another decision has been taken to declare August 23, the day India flew the national flag on the Moon, as National Space Day. Every year, National Space Day will celebrate the spirit of science and technology in the country. It will encourage us for eternity,” he said.

Modi called for greater use of space applications in governance and administration. “When the losses saved by space technologies due to cyclones are assessed, it would be more than the expenditure on the space sector,” he said.

He also called for youth and students to study ancient texts and to research ideas and concepts about science and space that are buried in them.

“When there were doubts about the shape of the Earth, Aryabhatta, in his great book Aryabhatiya, wrote in detail about the Earth being round in shape and about the Earth’s rotation on an axis and its inclination,” he said.

In the same manner, in books like Surya Siddhanta, it is said that some people on Earth think that their position is the highest but this rotating Earth is in the sky and there cannot be up and down, he said.

“It is the responsibility of students today to extricate the treasure of Indian knowledge buried during the period of slavery. In this Amrit Kaal period of Independence, we have to excavate this tradition, research it and tell the world,” he said.

Modi also stated that a big quiz competition on the Chandrayaan mission will be conducted by the Mygov portal from September 1.



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