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Nearly seven months after the historic landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the lunar surface, the landing site has been officially christened “Shiva Shakti” by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). This follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on August 26, 2023.

The confirmation comes from the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, a comprehensive record maintained by the IAU that details all officially recognized names on planets, moons, and other astronomical bodies. The Gazetteer describes “Shiva Shakti” as a compound word from Indian mythology, symbolizing the masculine (Shiva) and feminine (Shakti) duality of nature.

This designation marks a significant milestone for India’s spacefaring endeavors. The successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on August 23, 2023, made India the first country to achieve a soft touchdown near the lunar south pole, and only the fourth nation to accomplish a controlled lunar landing overall. The mission’s scientific payloads aim to study the lunar south pole, a region of particular interest due to the presence of potential water ice deposits.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission, launched in July 2023, marked a significant milestone for India’s lunar exploration ambitions. The mission successfully soft-landed the Vikram lander and deployed the Pragyan rover close to the lunar south pole, a region with immense scientific potential. The official naming of the landing site as “Statio Shiv Shakti” adds another layer of permanence to this achievement.