Bengaluru | From the time Chandrayaan-3 was launched on July 14 to its historic soft-landing on the surface of the Moon today, ISRO's official social media handles kept millions of people glued to their screens by taking an informal approach to communicating crucial moments of the mission to the public.
On successfully soft landing on the lunar surface as planned at 6.04 PM today, ISRO posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: "Chandrayaan-3 Mission: India, I reached my destination, and you too!" directly addressing India, while capturing the joy and sense of accomplishment of the entire nation.
Similarly, all through the span of the venture, ISRO's social media handles interspersed their tweets and posts with an occasional "Welcome buddy!" and "Thanks for the ride, Mate!", making it conversational and easy to relate to, rather than just reeling out technical terms, while giving updates about India's ambitious Moon mission.
On Monday when Chandrayaan-3 mission's lander module established communication with its predecessor Chandrayaan-2's orbiter, ISRO's social media warmed the hearts of space enthusiasts with its post.
"Welcome, buddy!" started the post on ISRO's social media handles, going on to explain that Chandrayaan-2 orbiter formally welcomed Chandrayaan-3's lander module which comprises the lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan). "Two-way communication between the two is established," the post said quickly lapping up over 3.4 million views on X (formerly Twitter).
Almost a week before that, on August 17 when the lander module successfully separated from its propulsion module, ISRO posted on X: "Thanks for the ride, mate!' said the Lander Module (LM)."
The post, which featured a hand waving emoji, hit the spot, with the
number of views for the post on X alone standing at about 5.5 million on Tuesday.
All through Chandrayaan-3's journey, ISRO's social media handles put out posts that informed and delighted its audience. The posts were almost always punctuated with emojis of the Moon, rockets and satellites if not a waving hand or a globe.
While the reach of ISRO's social media messages rode on the enthusiasm and the general buzz around India's ambitious and most anticipated Moon mission, a post on Tuesday showed that the mood within the scientific community at ISRO mirrored that of the public.
With just hours left for Vikram and Pragyan's landing on the lunar south pole, which was scheduled for 6.04 pm on Wednesday, the social media handles of ISRO posted saying that the Mission Operation Complex (MOX) was buzzing with energy and excitement.
Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-on mission of Chandrayaan-2, which failed in its lunar phase when its lander Vikram crashed into the surface of the Moon following anomalies in the module's braking system while attempting a touchdown on September 7, 2019.
In the previous mission too, ISRO's social media handles had attempted to use lighthearted messaging with a hashtag called #CY2Chronicles. One of the initial posts in the Chandrayaan-2 chronicles series was a comic strip depicting the separation of the propulsion module from the lander module.
The post on September 6, 2019 on X (then known as Twitter), Chandrayaan-2's lander module is depicted as saying to the propulsion module -- "It was quite the journey indeed! I will see you around -- in the next orbit."
As Chandrayaan-3 successfully completed the mission of soft landing on the surface of the Moon today, it has been quite the journey indeed for Chandrayaan and for India!