India's feat to plant a national tricolour on the moon on Saturday was hailed by political leaders as an "inspirational and momentous" achievement for its space scientists to take the country to a leadership position in space probes.
Applauding the milestone, the country's first spaceman Rakesh Sharma said today's feat has not been achieved with a very high degree of success by other countries while former president and rocket scientist A P J Abdul Kalam said landing of the Moon Impact Probe(MIP)on the lunar surface showed ISRO's technological excellence and creative leadership.
"This momentous achievement shall be etched in the history of India as a grateful tribute to our scientific community for their resolute efforts to take India to a global leadership position," Congress president Sonia Gandhi said.
"Today is a historic day for India," she added.
BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani said,"Today is a truly historic day for India, a day to be recorded with golden letters.
Terming it an "inspirational achievement," Advani wished that India extends this league of achievements in science and technology, "in space, in oceans, on land and everywhere".
Kalam, who conceived the MIP and was on hand to monitor the mission in Bangalore, said "Landing of MIP will kindle a dream in children. In 15 years, I want to see an Indian on the moon".
"Moon will be a strategic and economic complex of India in the near future".
Chandrayaan-1 mission has proved that India has space technology and it can "push" any instrument in space, Kalam said, adding "We are cost-effective and have excellence in space technology."