Google celebrates India's Chandrayaan-3 moon landing with adorable Doodle

google doodle animation showing India's Chandrayaan-3 mission reaching the moon.
Google is celebrating India's successful moon landing of the Chandrayaan-3 mission at the lunar south pole with a whimsical Google Doodle. (Image credit: Google)

Today's (Aug. 24) Google Doodle celebrates the successful landing of India's Chandrayaan-3 mission near the lunar south pole. 

The Google Doodle illustrates Chandrayaan-3's touchdown on the moon, depicting the Vikram lander deploying the Pragyan rover onto the lunar surface. Earth looks proud of its accomplishment in successfully landing the spacecraft, while the moon seemingly relishes the companionship.

"Congratulations to the Chandrayaan-3 space mission! We're over the moon for you!" states the Doodle statement

Related: India on the moon! Chandrayaan-3 becomes 1st probe to land near lunar south pole

The spacecraft touched down yesterday (Aug. 23) after a lengthy 41-day journey to our closest companion and it has already started beaming back the first photos from the lunar surface.

The historic touchdown marks a significant moment in the history of space exploration. As of Chandrayaan-3's successful landing, only four countries have made a soft landing on the lunar surface: China, the former Soviet Union, the United States and now India. "This success belongs to all of humanity and it will help moon missions by other countries in the future," India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a speech following the landing.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) mission is comprised of a lander called 'Vikram' ("valor") and a solar-powered rover named Pragyan (Sanskrit for "wisdom"). The pair will spend one lunar day (about 14 Earth days) exploring the lunar south pole with the aim of collecting scientific data about the moon, ranging from measuring thermal conductivity and temperature on the surface to detecting moonquakes and looking for elements in the lunar soil and rocks. 

The moon's south pole is a largely uncharted region thought to harbor large quantities of water ice which, if accessible, could be mined for rocket fuel and life support for future crewed missions. India's initial effort to achieve a lunar landing took place in September 2019; however, this attempt was unsuccessful as the Chandrayaan-2 lander crashed into the moon due to a software malfunction.

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Daisy Dobrijevic
Reference Editor

Daisy Dobrijevic joined in February 2022 having previously worked for our sister publication All About Space magazine as a staff writer. Before joining us, Daisy completed an editorial internship with the BBC Sky at Night Magazine and worked at the National Space Centre in Leicester, U.K., where she enjoyed communicating space science to the public. In 2021, Daisy completed a PhD in plant physiology and also holds a Master's in Environmental Science, she is currently based in Nottingham, U.K. Daisy is passionate about all things space, with a penchant for solar activity and space weather. She has a strong interest in astrotourism and loves nothing more than a good northern lights chase!