Chandrayaan 3’s Landing Site “Shiv Shakti” Receives International Astronomical Union Recognition

Chandrayaan 3's Landing Site "Shiv Shakti"

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on August 26, 2023, that the Chandrayaan-3 landing site on the Moon will be called ‘Shiva Shakti’.
  • The International Astronomical Union (IAU) approved the name on March 19, 2024, nearly seven months after the announcement.

IAU Approval Details:

  • The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved the name ‘Statio Shiv Shakti’ for the landing site of Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander.
  • The Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature provides detailed information about planetary names approved by the IAU.

Landing Site :

  •  ‘Statio Shiv Shakti’ for the landing site of Chandrayaan 3’s Vikram lander.
  • Origin of the Name:
    • The name ‘Shiva Shakti’ is derived from Indian mythology, representing the masculine (‘Shiva’) and feminine (‘Shakti’) duality of nature.
    • According to Modi, the name symbolizes resolution for humanity’s welfare (Shiva) and strength to fulfill those resolutions (Shakti).

Background of Chandrayaan 3:

  • Launch Date: July 14, 2024, from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
  • Landing Date: August 23, 2024, with the Vikram lander successfully touching down on the moon, along with the Pragyan Rover.
  • Achievement: India became the first country to land near the lunar South Pole and the fourth to achieve a controlled lunar landing.

Significance of “Shiv Shakti” Point:

  • Declared Name: The landing site was named “Shiv Shakti” by PM Narendra Modi.
  • Meaning: Represents the masculine (“Shiva”) and feminine (“Shakti”) duality of nature in Indian mythology.
  • IAU Gazetteer: Officially published the name, comparing it to naming places on Earth for easier identification and communication among scientists.

Key Points:

  • Exploration: After 10 days of exploration, both the lander and rover entered sleep mode while the propulsion module remains in lunar orbit.
  • IAU Recognition: Reflects the global acknowledgment of India’s achievements in space exploration.
  • Planetary Nomenclature: Similar to naming places on Earth, helps in identifying and discussing specific features on planets, moons, and other celestial bodies.
  • Relevance: This development underscores India’s advancements in space exploration and highlights the cultural significance of the names given to celestial bodies, aligning with the country’s rich mythology and heritage.


  • The approval of the name ‘Shiva Shakti’ for the Chandrayaan-3 landing site by the IAU marks another milestone in India’s space exploration journey, blending scientific achievements with cultural symbolism.

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