Americans rejoice over India’s historic moon landing

Arun Haryani, an enthusiast with his body painted in tri-colours reacts as he holds up a model of LVM3 M4 which was used in launching of Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the eve of its moon landing, in Ahmedabad, India, August 22, 2023. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Prominent Indian-Americans in the political, industry, and community spheres commended India’s historic milestone, on August 23, 2023, as it successfully soft-landed its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the Lunar South Pole of the Moon. They were joined by American policymakers and top officials who pointed to the future of joint space exploration between the two democracies.

India becomes the first country in the world to achieve the South Pole landing, and the fourth nation ever to land on the moon, following in the footsteps of the United States, Russia, and China.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking from South Africa, about Chandrayaan 3’s successful moon landing. PHOTO: Twitter @narendramodi

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, in a livestream from  Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was attending the 15th Annual Summit of BRICS, said, “On this joyous occasion, I would like to address all the people of the world, the people of every country, and region. India’s successful Moon mission is not India’s alone… [The] human-centric approach that we represent has been welcomed universally. Our Moon mission is also based on the same human-centric approach. Therefore, this success belongs to all of humanity.”

Calling it an unforgettable and unprecedented moment, the PM voiced the emotions of the nation. “This moment holds the capability of 1.4 billion heartbeats…” he said while crediting the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chief S. Somanath and other scientists involved in the mission.

ISRO scientist Ritu Karidhal Srivastava. PHOTO: X @MYGovIndia

Praises from America

Congratulating India, US Vice President Kamala Harris, in her tweet said, “It’s an incredible feat for all the scientists and engineers involved. We are proud to partner with you on this mission and space exploration more broadly,” to which PM Modi thanked VP Harris and added, “The success of Chardrayaan-3 is not just a milestone for India but for global space research. Collaborative spirit in space exploration accelerates our journey to progress.”

Global leaders from around the world including the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, have expressed their admiration for India’s success. India’s Permanent Representative at the UN, Ruchira Kamboj at a press briefing on August 23rd said, “This achievement not only marks India’s presence on the moon but also symbolizes the aspirations of 1.4 billion Indians. Beyond that, it’s a historic moment for humanity as we venture into uncharted territory near the moon’s South Pole.”

India’s previous attempt in September 2019, ended in failure due to a software malfunction, which makes this latest success all the sweeter for the scientists, who, incidentally, were led by ISRO’s Ritu Karidhal Srivastava, popularly named the ‘Rocket Woman.’

Indian Americans Rejoice

An excited audience at the Consulate of India in New York for the Chandrayaan 3 moon landing August 23, 2023. PHOTO: Facebook India in New York

News India Times reached out to leaders, including co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA), who recently led a bipartisan congressional delegation to witness India’s Independence Day celebrations, and participate in other events.

“This is a big moment for India at home and across the world. Representative Michael Waltz and I recently led a delegation where we saw the incredible developments and advances that India has made in STEM. Congratulations on the successful moon landing.”

Ranking Member on House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), said, “Many in the community including myself are ‘over the moon’ about the Chandrayaan mission. The successful landing of the Vikram lander on the Moon’s surface, the first ever on its South Pole, is a historic accomplishment for India, and a major step in lunar discovery for the world.”

“As an immigrant, my first steps were in India. As a public servant, my first steps were in science as a civil engineer for Montgomery County. Today, India had its first steps on the moon, providing the world with an immeasurable public service in scientific achievement, bringing humanity for the first time to the Moon’s South Pole,” said Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, Aruna Miller, adding, “We congratulate India on the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3, and welcome their future contributions to our common global spirit of understanding the endless frontier.”

Indian Americans celebrate Chandrayaan 3 moon landing at Times Square. PHOTO: Twitter @IndiainNewYork

Terming the historic event as, “India’s success is world’s success,” Director of the White House National Drug Control Policy, Dr. Rahul Gupta, emphasized, “This has been demonstrated once again by the Chandrayaan-3’s historic mission. As a global leader, India continues to advance a common vision of space exploration for the benefit of all humankind.”

US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA), Administrator Bill Nelson, and NASA Astronaut Raja Chari also congratulated India in their tweets. “Congratulations to @ISRO and the people of India for the Chandrayaan-3’s historic landing on the South Pole of the Moon. We look forward to deepening our partnership with India on space exploration in the years ahead,” said Sullivan.

Administrator Nelson said, “Congratulations @isro on your successful Chandrayaan-3 lunar South Pole landing! And congratulations to #India on being the 4th country to successfully soft-land a spacecraft on the Moon. We’re glad to be your partner on this mission.”

Astronaut Chari said “Congratulations @isro on a successful landing and welcome to the moon.  Looking forward to your future collaboration w/@nasaartemis as we work to put humans on the lunar South Pole.”

Padma Shri recipient and Chairman & CEO of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold Dr. Sudhir Parikh congratulated scientists of ISRO and Prime Minister Modi for encouraging this initiative. “We made great history and the whole country is excited about it. And we arrived on the moon, we conquered the moon. Not only that, but I think the structure of moon lander is inexpensive when compared with the Western world moon landers. And the good thing is that we landed on the south pole of the moon, where there might be some water. If there is evidence of the water, then probably there is evidence of life. So, I think all Indian-Americans and Indians in India and around the world should be very happy.”

Founder of Indiaspora, MR Rangaswami, who is currently in New Delhi, India, for the Indiaspora G20 Forum, expressed happiness that the timing of the Chandrayaan’s landing permitted the diaspora leaders participating in the G20 Forum to have a viewing party in New Delhi.

“We were watching intensely, and the entire audience broke out in cheers and applause when the spacecraft landed on the South Pole of the moon. We then raised the toast of appreciation to our homeland and the ISRO team for this historic accomplishment,” added Rangaswami while pointing out that India has demonstrated its ability to employ an innovative approach and execute a space mission at a significantly reduced cost compared to other nations. This holds promising prospects for upcoming missions.

Congratulating ISRO for its successful mission, President & CEO of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, Mukesh Aghi, said, “This is a phenomenal milestone for India’s space program and its exploration journey… It provides opportunities for deeper collaboration between the US and India in the space sector.”

Chairman and Founder of AAPI Victory Fund, Shekar Narasimhan, tweeted, “Proud today to have Indian roots! Yes, I am an American but to see India as the fourth nation on earth to land on the moon, a moment of pride and joy. The possibilities for the US-India partnership are almost endless!”

Fort Bend County Judge of Texas, KP George said “As an American of Indian origin, it is a proud moment for me and all the Indian citizens. I want to congratulate the ISRO leadership on behalf of 900,000 people of Fort Bend County, and look forward for the best bilateral relationship between India and United States for better tomorrow.”

First Indian-American woman elected to New York State Assembly Jenifer Rajkumar remarked, “I am Incredibly proud to witness this historic moment in India’s development. India is on a growth trajectory that has now literally reached the stars, a testament to the dedication and ingenuity of its people.” She went on to add, “The Chandrayaan-3 moon landing inspires all of us, showing that anything is possible with enough determination. India continues to join the United States as a valued partner in space exploration, strengthening the deep ties between our two nations into the final frontier.”

Chairman of Federation of Indian Association (FIA)-NYNJCT, Ankur Vaidya, said, “We as an Indian American community, are very proud of the achievements of the brothers and sisters at ISRO who carried through this remarkable landing on the south side of the moon. It’s the collective achievement of the scientists and I hope and pray that the progress and space research continue to yield benefits for humanity globally.”

“It is a proud, monumental moment for all Indians around the world. Congratulations to ISRO for Chandrayaan-3 landing on lunar South Pole,” added President of FIA-NYNJCT, Kenny Desai, while wishing good luck to all scientists and researchers for their hard work.

Past President of FIA and Board Member of the Indo American Arts Council, NY, Anil Bansal, said, “The success of Chandrayaan-3 is a great source of pride and connection for the Indian Diaspora here in USA. It signifies India’s technological advancements and contributions to space exploration, fostering a sense of national identity and unity among Indians living here. Additionally, it would further inspire our younger generations to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.”

“Being in Bharat for the G20 Summit has deepened my appreciation for global unity. To witness alongside the historic Chandrayaan-3 landing is a sublime convergence of international collaboration and national pride,” said a member of the Virginia Asian Advisory Board, Srilekha Palle.

Gathering at Indian Consulate in New York watches Chandrayaan 3 landing on the moon Aug. 3, 2023. PHOTO Twitter @IndiainNewYork

Board Member of Hindu American Foundation, Mihir Meghani, said, “As a Hindu American, I see India landing on the moon’s South Pole, joining only USA, USSR & China in successful lunar landings, as a civilizational triumph for a nation representing the aspirations of over a billion people. India as a civilization has shown over the millennia that the pursuit of science and spirituality can happen at the same time.”

“Like the rest of India and the global Indian diaspora, I too am over the moon,” said Founder of Hindu American Seva Communities, Anju Bhargava. “What a fantastic feat on par with any country while maximizing the limited resources. What a lesson for us to learn. Failure (Chandrayaan-2) is just a learning experience and a steppingstone to even greater heights. I am sure India’s trail blazing scientific achievements will deepen the path of knowledge for global space explorations.”

Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, Aftab Pureval, tweeted, “INCREDIBLE! Congratulations to @isro and all Indians for this historic and unforgettable accomplishment. What an amazing moment for all of humanity.”



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