India created history on Wednesday after its Chandrayaan-3 successfully soft-landed on the Moon's surface at 6.04 p.m. - a feat matched only by erstwhile Soviet Republic, the US and China.
Following the mission's success, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi congratulated the team of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), saying that it is a collective success of every Indian, and "we have displayed our scientific prowess to the world".
In a statement, Kharge said, "The success of Chandrayaan-3 is the collective success of every Indian. An elated nation with 140 crore aspirations witnessed today yet another achievement in its six-decade long space programme."
Hailing the hard work of the researchers and the scientists, the Congress President said, "We are deeply indebted to the remarkable hard work, unparalleled ingenuity and unflinching dedication of our scientists, space engineers, researchers and everyone involved in making this mission a triumph for India."
Recalling the Chandrayaan-1 mission, Kharge said, "In 2008, when the Moon Impact Probe (MIP) module carrying the national flag landed on the moon, we became the fourth country to land a scientific device on the moon's surface."
Kharge said: "Today, through Chandrayaan-3, we have displayed our scientific prowess to the world. The immaculate soft-landing of Vikram lander and Pragyaan rover is a fitting tribute to Dr Homi J Bhabha, Dr Vikram Sarabhai, Dr Satish Dhawan, Dr Meghnad Saha, Dr Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and many other legendary scientists who paved the way for India’s unmatchable progress in the field of space research and scientific dexterity."
Recalling the achievements of the Chandrayaan-1 mission, the Congress leader said that in 2008, it confirmed the presence of water molecules on the lunar surface.
Recalling the farsightedness of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Kharge said, "These accomplishments are a testament to the vision of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who emphasised and sincerely believed that a critical commitment to science could drive the spirit of development of our newly independent nation by igniting the spirit and minds of the people, which was later followed by successive Prime Ministers."
"From Aryabhatta Mission, to Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma’s space Odyssey – where he said 'Sare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara' to Chandrayaan Missions, India has come a long way in space research and exploration," he added.
Rahul Gandhi also hailed the achievement of ISRO and said, "Congratulations to Team ISRO for today's pioneering feat. Chandrayaan-3’s soft landing on the uncharted lunar South Pole is the result of decades of tremendous ingenuity and hard work by our scientific community. Since 1962, India’s space programme has continued to scale new heights and inspire generations of young dreamers."