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It’s official: Chandrayaan-3 landing site name ‘Shiva Shakti’ gets IAU nod

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BENGALURU: Nearly seven months after Prime Minister Narendra

Modi

announced (Aug 26, 2023) that the Chandrayaan-3 landing site will be called ‘

Shiva Shakti

’, the International Astronomical Union (

IAU

), on March 19 approved the name.
According to the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, which provides detailed information about planetary names approved by IAU: “The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Statio Shiv Shakti for the landing site of Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander.”
Modi had made the announcement at the Isro Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (Istrac) in Bengaluru, three days after Vikram’s historic Moon landing on Aug 23, 2023.

“…In Shiva, there’s resolution for humanity’s welfare and Shakti gives us strength to fulfil those resolutions. This Shiva Shakti Point of Moon also gives a sense of connection with the Himalaya to Kanyakumari,” Modi had said.

As per the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature announcement, the origin of the name is defined as: “Compound word from Indian mythology that depicts the masculine (“Shiva”) and feminine (“Shakti”) duality of nature; Landing site of Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander.”
Fifteen years before the Chandrayaan-3 soft-landing, India’s Chandrayaan-1’s moon impact probe (MIP) had impacted on the lunar surface on Nov 14, 2008. The impact site was called ‘Jawahar Point’ or ‘Jawahar Sthal’ as notified to the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Aside from Shiva Shakti, Modi had also announced on that day that the point where Chandrayaan-2 left its footprints will be called ‘Tiranga’. He had said it will serve as an inspiration for every effort that India makes and be a reminder that failure is not the end.
Terming the “touchdown moment” one of the most inspiring moments of this century, Modi said the entire world was witnessing and accepting the strength of India’s scientific spirit, technology and scientific temperament. Isro chairman S Somanath had said: “The PM was emotional about this historic event and all of us are very happy to know the naming of the two sites.”

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