India has successfully landed Chandrayaan-3 near the south pole of the Moon. This is a significant achievement in space exploration.

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India has done something incredible – its spacecraft has landed on the Moon's south pole. This is a big deal because only the US, the old Soviet Union, and China have done this before. It's like India has joined a special group of countries that can softly land on the Moon.

The Vikram lander from Chandrayaan-3 successfully touched down as planned at 18:04 local time.

Celebrations have broken out across the country, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying "India is now on the Moon". 

"We have reached where no other country could. It's a joyous occasion," he added. Mr Modi was watching the event live from South Africa where he is attending the Brics summit.

Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chief Sreedhara Panicker Somanath said the successful landing "is not our work alone, this is the work of a generation of Isro scientists".

India's achievement comes just days after Russia's Luna-25 spacecraft spun out of control and crashed into the Moon.The crash also put the spotlight on how difficult it is to land in the south pole region where the surface is "very uneven" and "full of craters and boulders".

India's second lunar mission, which also attempted to soft-land there in 2019, was unsuccessful - its lander and rover were destroyed, though its orbiter survived.

On Wednesday, there were anxious moments as a spacecraft named Vikram, named after Isro founder Vikram Sarabhai, tried to land on the Moon's south pole. Inside the spacecraft was a small vehicle called Pragyaan (which means wisdom in Sanskrit) that weighs 26kg.

The spacecraft's speed was slowly reduced from very fast to almost stopped, so it could gently land on the Moon.

After a few hours, once the dust settles, the six-wheeled Pragyaan will come out of the spacecraft. It will move around on the Moon, taking important pictures and collecting data. This information will then be sent back to Earth.

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