Chandrayaan-3: India’s Moon lander Vikram aims for historic lunar south pole landing

India is looking to make history on Wednesday with its third lunar mission set to land on the Moon, the BBC reports.

If Chandrayaan-3 is successful, India will be the first country to land near the Moon’s little-explored south pole.

One of its major goals is to hunt for water-based ice, which scientists say could support human habitation on the Moon in future.

India’s attempt comes just days after Russia’s Luna-25 crashed while trying to touch down in the same region.

If successful, it will also be only the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the Moon – the US, the former Soviet Union and China have all landed near the equator.

India’s attempt to land its Chandrayaan-2 mission near the south pole in 2019 was unsuccessful – it crashed into the lunar surface.

The spacecraft with an orbiter, lander and a rover lifted off on 14 July from the Sriharikota space center in south India.

The lander – called Vikram after Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) founder Vikram Sarabhai – carries within its belly the 26kg rover named Pragyaan, the Sanskrit word for wisdom.

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