India's historic Moon landing cost less than it took to make Interstellar
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Featured Image Credit: Indian Space Research Organization / Warner Bros
India celebrated this week after it finally landed a mission to the Moon, making history by becoming the first to land in the lunar south pole region.
Following on from the country's failed attempt in 2019, the Chandrayaan-3 managed to reach the lunar surface on Wednesday (22 August).
Announcing the news on Twitter, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said: "The Ch-3 Rover ramped down from the Lander and India took a walk on the moon!"
But while Nasa forked out over $250 billion on its various Apollo missions throughout the 1960s and 70s, India's space agency managed to achieve the incredible feat on a fraction of that.
Rather than the billions the US has spent over the years, the Ch-3 Rover mission cost just 6.15bn rupees, which works out at around $75 million.
So it's a real pinch, by anyone's standards.
But it's not just cheap by space exploration or engineering standards, it cost less than a lot of Hollywood films, many of which see actors make pretend at being astronauts.
Take Christopher Nolan's epic 2014 sci-fi Interstellar, that cost $165m to make.
And that's not the only one; Matt Damon's The Martian cost a whopping $108 million to bring to the big screen.
Now it's there, ISRO chief S. Somanath told ANI that the 'Pragyan' rover has been deployed on the Moon's south pole, with India the first country to land there.
During the two-week mission, it will use two instruments to carry out element and chemical composition experiments.
Somanath said: "More than that it will do the roving on the surface, we will also do a robotic path planning exercise which is very important for us for future exploration."
Following the successful landing, India's prime minister Narendra Modi said it was an incredible achievement for the country.
"It is a matter of pride and a pat on the back for Indian scientists," Modi said today (24 August). "India is now on the Moon.
“India has reached the south pole of the Moon – no other country has achieved that. We are witnessing history."
India’s previous attempt to land a spacecraft near the Moon’s south pole ended in disaster four years ago.
Despite entering the lunar orbit, it lost contact with its lander, which crashed during the final descent to deploy its rover to explore signs of water.
According to a failure analysis report submitted to ISRO, a software error was responsible for the crash.