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Landing has Indians over the moon
Published on 16 Nov. 2008 12:40 AM IST
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There was exultation, a feeling that India had arrived, when the national tricolour was placed on the lunar surface Friday night. With India’s moon mission Chandrayaan already a reality, people are now wondering if the next step could be a holiday on the moon! The Indian flag was planted on the lunar surface when the 35-kg box-shaped Moon Impact Probe (MIP) landed on the moon at 8.31 p.m. Friday night after being ejected from Chandrayaan-1, India’s first unmanned spacecraft. Newspapers expressed the excitement among the people with headlines like - “India leaves its footprints on the moon” in the Hindu, and a similar “Indian footprint on lunar surface” in The Statesman. The Hindustan Times had a patriotic - “The tricolour has landed”, while the Indian Express termed it as - “India touches the moon”. All the papers termed the MIP landing on the lunar surface as a “giant leap, a first step”. India is the fourth country to have landed a manmade object on the moon, the others being the former USSR, the US and Japan. While scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation, who were behind the extraordinary feat, have been literally over the moon at the mission going off exactly according to plan, for thousands of Indians it has been a proud moment that they can’t stop talking about. Mahesh Sharma, a student who has been absorbing every detail of the lunar mission with great interest, has his sights set far ahead. “There has been talk about space tourism and I really can’t wait for that to happen. I want to spend a holiday on the moon. With such achievements as the Chandrayaan’s launch, I believe anything is possible.” Rajan Das, a Class 9 student of Delhi Public School, has been keeping an eager eye on all the latest updates of India’s unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 ever since its successful launch Oct 22. And when the Indian flag was placed on the lunar surface Friday, he was literally over the moon! “I am so happy! I have a lot of friends outside India who I have met through social networking sites like Facebook and Orkut. Ever since I have come to know that our flag has found its place on the moon, I haven’t stopped raving about it to all of them!” Das told IANS. “I am so proud, just so proud,” said Rakhi Bajaj, a school teacher. “My patriotic feelings have been evoked ever since the Chandrayaan was successfully launched and now when our national flag has been placed on the moon, my pride has grown even more,” she said. Superstar Amitabh Bachchan also couldn’t stop showering praise on the lunar feat. “This is a remarkable achievement from a country dubbed as belonging to the third world and one that is nomenclatured as a developing nation,” Bachchan wrote in his blog “There is pride amongst us. The world looks at us no longer with tinted glasses. God bless India,” Bachchan said.

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