Chinese space scientists have challenged India’s claim to have landed a spacecraft near the moon’s south pole, saying the landing spot’s co-ordinates are too far away to count.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission made India the fourth country to land successfully on the moon, after the United States, the Soviet Union and China.
No one disputes that it reached closer to the moon’s south pole than any previous mission, an important feat because it is an unexplored region that was confirmed by Nasa, the US space agency, in 2020 to contain water ice.
However, Ouyang Ziyuan, who was the chief scientist for China’s first lunar landing, queried India’s claim to the first “south pole” landing, in a state science journal.
He said that at a position of 69 degrees south, the Chandrayaan-3 moon rover not only had not landed at the south pole, it wasn’t in or even near the Antarctic polar region.