Washington: India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission team has been presented with the prestigious 2024 John L. ‘Jack’ Swigert Jr. Award for Space Exploration in recognition of it raising the bar for space exploration.

The award was received by India’s Consul General in Houston D C Manjunath on behalf of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) during the opening ceremony of the annual Space Symposium in Colorado on Monday.

As the first nation to land on the Moon’s South Pole, Chandrayaan-3, a mission developed by the ISRO, extends humanity’s space exploration aspirations to new and fertile areas for understanding and cooperation, the Space Foundation said in a press release.

“India’s leadership in space is an inspiration to the world,” Space Foundation CEO Heather Pringle said in a statement in January when the award was announced.

“The pioneering work of the entire Chandrayaan-3 team has again raised the bar for space exploration, and their remarkable lunar landing is a model to us all. Congratulations and we can’t wait to see what you do next!” he said.

The John L. “Jack” Swigert Jr. Award for Space Exploration recognises extraordinary accomplishments by a company,

space agency, or consortium of organisations in the realm of space exploration and discovery.

The award honours the memory of astronaut John L. “Jack” Swigert Jr., one of the inspirations for the creation of the Space Foundation. A Colorado native, Swigert served with retired U.S. Navy Captain James A. Lovell Jr. and Fred Haise on the legendary Apollo 13 lunar mission, which was aborted after the perilous rupture of an oxygen tank while en route to the Moon, the release said.

People around the world watched as NASA overcame tremendous odds and returned the crew safely to Earth. In that spirit of accomplishment, the Jack Swigert Award is presented annually at the Space Symposium by the Space Foundation.In August, India made history as its Moon mission Chandrayaan-3 became the first to land in the uncharted south pole of the Earth’s only natural satellite.

Comprising the lander (Vikram) and the rover (Pragyan), India’s Moon mission Chandrayaan-3 touched down on the lunar south pole at 6.04 pm on August 23.With this touchdown, India has become the fourth country to master the technology of soft landing on the lunar surface after the US, China and the erstwhile Soviet Union.

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