Bengaluru: As Chandrayaan-3 cruised and orbited through space to reach within sniffing distance of the Moon, ISRO’s official social media handles took an informal approach to keep millions of people glued to their screens.
Interspersing their tweets and posts with an occasional “Welcome buddy!” and “Thanks for the ride, Mate!”, ISRO’s social media handles occasionally departed from using just technical terms to give updates about India’s ambitious Moon mission Chandrayaan-3.
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 – and quickly lapped up over 3.4 million views on X (formerly Twitter).
Ch-2 orbiter formally welcomed Ch-3 LM.
Two-way communication between the two is established.
MOX has now more routes to reach the LM.
Update: Live telecast of Landing event begins at 17:20 Hrs. IST.#Chandrayaan_3 #Ch3
— ISRO (@isro) August 21, 2023
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).”
‘Thanks for the ride, mate! 👋’
said the Lander Module (LM).
LM is successfully separated from the Propulsion Module (PM)
LM is set to descend to a slightly lower orbit upon a deboosting planned for tomorrow around 1600 Hrs., IST.
Now, 🇮🇳 has3⃣ 🛰️🛰️🛰️… pic.twitter.com/rJKkPSr6Ct
— ISRO (@isro) August 17, 2023
The post with 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.
Chandrayaan-3 posts on social media were punctuated almost always with emojis of the Moon, rockets and satellites if not a waving hand or a globe – making a connect with the people.
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, scheduled for 6.04 pm on Wednesday, the social media handles of ISRO posted saying that the Mission Operation Complex (MOX) is buzzing with energy and excitement. The post also said that the module was continuing to sail smoothly.
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.” Quite the journey indeed for Chandrayaan-2’s module, having orbited through since then to meet its successor Chandrayaan 3’s lander module and greet it with a “Welcome buddy!”