UnNews:India finally gets moon landing right

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24 August 2023

This is an artist's rendition; the lunar lander can take pictures — but can't take selfies.

SOUTH POLE, Moon -- India finally avoided crashing a spacecraft on the surface of the moon, soft-landing its Chandrayaan-3 close to the South Pole that is the putative dateline of this news report.

India had previously joined an exclusive club of five nations (with the U.S., China, Israel, and Russia) that converted millions of dollars of precision equipment to showers of metal and wires, despite the relatively piddling gravity of Earth's cosmic neighbor.

"It’s a fantastic achievement for India," said professor Clive Neal of Notre Dame; "This is an area of the moon we have no idea about." Despite the collective cluelessness, the scientific community seems unanimous that it is the perfect spot for moon bases, such as portrayed in the fictional Space: 1999 — and only twenty-four years late. The site straddles the moon's zones of deadly heat and deadly cold, and offers a scenic view of the Earth right at the horizon. There could be immense mineral wealth, available for a song — until one thinks about the cost of bringing the stuff back home.

The landing occurred at 6:04 p.m. local time, though Professor Neal could not state which time zone the landing site occupies.

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No, Vikram is very dead

India's last successful crash-landing occurred in 2019, when the Vikram lunar lander got the lander part technically correct, but virtually nothing else. It duplicated Israel's feat with its Beresheet mission earlier that year.

The current project also includes a lunar rover. However, ever since the landing, Rover has been desperately clawing at the door to try to get out and do his doggie business. While the site has enough dirt to delight a canine, and possibly some ice, it has no air, and attempts to use radio to talk Rover out of it do not seem to be working.

Russia had a more recent successful lunar crash-landing just days ago. In addition, one of the nation's anti-aircraft emplacements seems to have engineered a successful crash-landing of an Embraer executive jet containing mutineer/privateer Yevgeny Prigozhin into what used to be a cornfield near Tvor. The chief of the Wagner Group thus concludes an awkward sojourn in Belarus after his abortive mutiny, though unlike Chandrayaar, failing to reach the planned landing site, which in his case was St. Petersburg.