The International Astronomical Union (IAU) approved the name of the Chandrayaan-3’s lander Vikram landing site ‘Shiv Shakti’.

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  • The announcement defined the origin of the name as, a “compound word from Indian mythology that depicts masculine (Shiva) and feminine (Shakti) duality of nature”.
  • Last year on August 28 2023, the Prime Minister of India announced that the landing point of the Chandrayaan-3 Mission would be known as “Shiv Shakti Point”.
  • While the Chandrayaan-2 landing failure spot (lander Vikram crashed) will be called “Tiranga point”. Chandrayaan-1’s moon impact probe (MIP) had touched the lunar surface on Nov 14, 2008. The site was called “Jawahar Point” or “Jawahar Sthal”.
  • The day of the touchdown of the Vikram Lander on the Moon (August 23) will be celebrated as “National Space Day” in the country. 
  • The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named an asteroid, discovered in 2006, after Indian classical singer Pandit Jasraj. The asteroid, or more formally known as a minor planet, is located between Mars and Jupiter.

IAU’s Nomenclature criteria

Rule 6: Individual names chosen for each body should be expressed in the language of origin. Transliteration for various alphabets should be given, but there will be no translation from one language to another.

Rule 9: No names having political, military or religious significance may be used, except for names of political figures before the 19th century.

Rule 11: When more than one spelling of a name is extant, the spelling preferred by the person, or used in an authoritative reference, should be used. Diacritical marks are a necessary part of a name and will be used.

International Astronomical Union (IAU)

  • It is a non-governmental organisation founded in 1919.
  • Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation.
  • It is Headquartered in Paris, France.
  • IAU membership spans 92 countries, India joined as a member state in 1964. 
  • IAU’s General Assembly meets every three years since, 1922 and India hosted the 19th IAU General Assembly (1985) in New Delhi, India.
  • 32nd IAU’s General Assembly will be held in August 2024 at Cape Town, South Africa.


It is a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 to demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface. 

  • The mission consists of a Vikram lunar lander and a Pragyan lunar rover similar to those launched aboard Chandrayaan-2 in 2019.

• It secured a historic position for India by becoming the first country to successfully land a spacecraft in the Moon’s South Pole region and 4th country to land on the moon.

  • Counties to land on the moon: The Soviet Union (ROSCOSMOS), the United States (NASA), China (CNSA), India (ISRO), and Japan (JAXA).

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