India is set to attempt landing an uncrewed probe on the Moon’s unexplored South Pole on Wednesday, a mission that if successful would cement the country’s place as an international power in space exploration.
The $75mn Chandrayaan-3 mission, which launched last month, is due to make a controlled landing in the evening India time. If it succeeds, India will become the fourth country to land a craft on the Moon, after the US, China and Soviet Union, and the first to reach its South Pole.
The high-profile mission comes days after a Russian attempt to land on the Moon — its first since 1976 under the Soviet Union — ended in failure. The uncrewed Luna-25 spacecraft spun out of control and crashed into the lunar surface on Sunday.