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ISRO’’s informal approach on social media to Moon mission wins hearts

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BENGALURU, Aug 22: 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).
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 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!” (PTI)

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