The Indian Space Research Organization has released images of the lunar surface after its spacecraft became the first to land on the unexplored south pole of the Moon on Wednesday.

The images from the Chandrayaan-3, whose arrival also made India the fourth country to successfully land a spacecraft on the Moon after the United States, the Soviet Union and China, showed Wednesday a pockmarked surface along with a landing leg and a shadow.

The ISRO also released images taken during the spacecraft's descent to the lunar surface.

Photo of the unexplored south pole of the Moon released by the Indian Space Research Organization on Aug. 23, 2023. (Photo courtesy of ISRO)(Kyodo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi watched the landing from South Africa where he was attending a summit of the BRICS grouping that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"India is now on the Moon. This is a moment to cherish forever...We are witness to the new flight of new India," he said.

A few hours after the landing, a rover came out of the lander to run a series of experiments over the next 14 days, including an analysis of the mineral composition of the lunar surface, ISRO Chairman S. Somanath said, according to a Press Trust of India report.

The Chandrayaan-3, India's third lunar exploration mission, was launched on July 14.

The successful landing on the Moon's south pole came days after a similar mission attempted by Russia's Luna-25 spacecraft failed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Modi on India's success Wednesday.

"This is a big step forward in space exploration and, of course, a testament to India's impressive progress in science and technology," Putin said in a statement.

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