Many Australians thought India’s Chandrayaan-3 was a UFO. Pic credit: via The Indian Express/YouTube
Australians in multiple states across the country reported sighting a mysterious glowing UFO blazing across the night sky on Friday (July 14).
The light was visible for up to 10 minutes from many parts of the country. People from Queensland in the northeastern region to Melbourne in the southeastern state of Victoria reported the comet-like object in the sky.
It was also visible from Katherine in the Northern Territory to Sydney, New South Wales, on the east coast.
Stunned witnesses thought it was a UFO, while others believed it was a comet, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
However, media outlets soon explained the mystery light. They said it was an Indian spacecraft Chandrayaan-3 on its way to the moon.
Australians took to social media to report the “UFO”
Australian social media came alive with speculative chatter about the identity of the “UFO.”
Many took photos and videos and shared them on social media. People shared their theories about what it might be.
Many thought it was a comet, but others suggested it was a UFO of extraterrestrial origin.
However, media outlets soon assured concerned citizens that it was the Indian spacecraft, Chandrayaan-3.
The latest news comes after Paranormal Papers reported that many residents of Central Georgia mistook Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites for a UFO.
In 2021, people at Camp Wilson Marine Corps base in California also thought that lights now believed to be military flares came from a hovering triangular UFO.
Chandrayaan-3’s mission goal is a soft landing on the moon
The Indian spacecraft Chandrayaan-3 (meaning: “moon craft” in Sanskrit) took off from a launch pad in the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on the island of Sriharikota off the coast of the Bay of Bengal, Andhra Pradesh state, India, at about 5:00 a.m. ET (2:30 p.m. local time) on Friday.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) confirmed that it entered Earth orbit and would soon begin its journey to the moon.
Chandrayaan-3 consists of a propulsion module, a lander, and a rover (Pragyan). Unlike its predecessor Chandrayaan-2, it does not have an orbiter.
Its mission is a soft landing near the south pole region of the moon on August 23.
Chandrayaan-3 mission is India’s second attempt at a moon landing
The Chandrayaan-3 mission is India’s second attempt at soft-landing on the moon, following the failure of Chandrayaan-2 in 2019.
A previous craft, Chandrayaan-1, achieved the mission goal of orbiting the moon in 2008 before ISRO purposely crashed it on the lunar surface.
Chandrayaan-2 launched on July 22, 2019, and reached the lunar orbit on August 20. Its mission was to land in the south-polar region of the lunar surface, but the mission failed when the Vikram lander crashed on September 6, 2019.
India will become the fourth country in the world (after the U.S., China, and Russia) to achieve a landing on the moon if Chandrayaan-3’s mission succeeds.
India put a craft in orbit around Mars in 2014
India’s latest space exploration effort comes after the country’s Mars Orbiter Mission (aka Mangalyaan) went into orbit around Mars in 2014.
The achievement stunned the world partly because the ISRO spent a paltry $74 million to achieve the feat. This sum is only about one-ninth of NASA’s budget of $ 671 million for its Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (Maven) mission which put a spacecraft in Mars orbit in 2022.
The Mangalyaan probe mission also cost less than the $100 million Hollywood producers spent in 2013 on Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.