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‘We won, we won’: Nehru Planetarium erupts in joy after moon landing | Delhi News

The city’s Nehru Planetarium hummed with anticipation on Wednesday evening as the crowd counted down the minutes to the moon landing of spacecraft Chandrayaan-3.

“250 metres!” Someone in the crowd yelled as the group cheered in response. “200…150…!” they said in unison. For a moment, silence fell over the crowd, as their eyes keenly followed the activity on a TV screen where the landing was being live streamed. The room erupted into cheers and giddy celebrations when the lunar rover made a soft landing on the moon, making India only the fourth country in the world to make a soft landing on the moon’s south pole .

“We won, we won!” the crowd said jubilantly, chorusing Bharat Mata ki Jai. People embraced each other and waved the national flag enthusiastically.

Immanuel (20), a law student from Indraprastha University said: “I feel so proud. I witnessed a once in a lifetime event.”

His friend and classmate Abhishek (19) chimed in: “I hope to see Indian astronauts in space next. Hopefully people will vie with each other to join ISRO over NASA (American space agency).”

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Daksh (18), a mass media student from IP University had been waiting in the planetarium for over an hour for the momentous occasion. He said, “I felt goosebumps when it landed. We failed twice but proved lucky on the third attempt!”

Mallika (20), an applied psychology student from Delhi University remarked: “I feel proud that we were the first to do a soft landing on the south pole of the moon, even before a country like Russia could achieve it.”

The Nehru Planetarium organised an entire day of activities around the Chandrayaan-3 landing. Moon shows were set up in the sky theatre for the public to understand the moon’s topography and what transpired in the previous two Chandrayaan missions. A small gallery detailing the specifications of the Chandrayaan-3 modules and its varying launch vehicles have also been set up. A livestream of the landing too was projected in the sky theatre.

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KS Balachandran, senior technician at the planetarium, said: “We are obviously very excited about the success of the landing, just like the rest of the country. We will keep track of the rover when it comes out in a few hours and scans its surroundings. It will take around an hour to cover 1 km. It’s slow but it will be groundbreaking.”

So far, the planetarium does not have specific promotional plans based on the landing. It organises sky viewing sessions through telescopes every week, but the programme is on pause due to the monsoon and will commence next month.

Minister of State for Culture, Meenakshi Lekhi, who visited the planetarium after the landing said: “India has always had a scientific temperament since ancient times. We’ve always dabbled in astronomy and attempted to understand celestial bodies. Our last two attempts to land on the moon were not failures but steps towards today’s achievement.”

Click for more updates on Delhi News Today. Also get Latest News Updates from Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and other parts of India at The Indian Express.

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