Through its cost-effective Chandrayaan-3, India became the first nation to successfully land its spacecraft on Moon’s south pole on Wednesday.

Cost of Chandrayaan-3

Chandrayaan-3 cost India Rs. 615 crore or $74.3 million. Incidentally, it was cheaper compared to its predecessor, Chandrayaan-2, which had a budget of $96.5 million. Chandrayaan-2 was India’s failed attempt to make a moon-landing in 2019, when the scientists lost contact with the lunar module moments before its slated landing. 

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Former journalist Cindy Pom shared on X (formerly Twitter), “Kinda crazy when you realize India’s budget for Chandrayaan-3 ($75M) is less than the film Interstellar ($165M).” Responding to it Elon Musk posted “Good for India!”

For it’s latest achievement, India used rockets much less powerful than those the United States used back during the Apollo missions in the 1960s and 1970s. This meant that the probe had to orbit the Earth several times to gain speed before it could embark on its month-long lunar trajectory.

This is because Chandrayaan-3 was always touted to be India’s cost-effective lunar exploration,  a testament to the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) knack for optimizing the resources when launching space missions.

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 ISRO is constantly trying to enhance efficiency and reduce costs. As a result, the allocated budget for Chandrayaan-3 mentioned above encompassed everything from the spacecraft and launch vehicle to the ground support facilities.

Chandrayaan-3 aimed to bolster India’s understanding of the Moon and fortify its space technologies. It’s goals encompassed a soft rover landing on the lunar surface, south pole exploration, lunar surface study, and a quest for water ice on the moon.