Chandrayaan-2 launch example of fearlessness, faith, says PM Modi
Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Sunday hailed the launch of India’s lunar mission Chandrayaan-2, which was delayed due to a technical glitch, and described the successful lift-off as an example of “faith and fearlessness”.
On July 22, the 14-storey-tall GSLV Mark III rocket blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota with the 3,850kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, exactly a week after the launch was called off due to a technical snag 56 minutes and 24 seconds before the scheduled time.
“We should feel proud of the fact that despite hindrances, there is no change in the arrival time [of the spacecraft on the Moon]. We should trust our talents and capacities, we should have faith in them,” Modi said in his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat, referring to the altered path of the spacecraft that would ensure Chandrayaan-2 lands on the Moon on its original intended date - September 7.
This change was necessary so scientific payloads can perform experiments during the full lunar day that is equivalent to about 14 Earth days.
“I strongly believe that you would have felt immensely proud on India’s achievement beyond the skies in outer space. Chandrayaan-2 is Indian to the core. It is purely Indian in heart and spirit,” Modi said, addressing his second radio programme after his re-election.
If the landing goes successfully, India will become the fourth country after the US, the erstwhile USSR, and China to land on the Moon. It will also be the first time a lander-rover will explore the south pole of the Moon.
The rover, called Pragyan, will examine the lunar surface, search for water, and probe craters and traps that could answer key questions about the history of the solar system.
Besides Chandrayaan-2, India is planning to launch a mission to the sun, called Aditya-L1, in 2020 and the first unmanned mission to the low earth orbit in preparation for its Gaganyaan mission that is scheduled for December 2021.
Hailing the indigenous project, the PM also called students to participate in a quiz on space, and science and technology, whose winners will be invited to visit the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) headquarters in Sriharikota in September, when the spacecraft will attempt landing on the Moon.
“For these winners, it will be a historic event of their lives,” he said.
During the 25-minute address, Modi also spoke about unrest in Jammu and Kashmir and warned that those “those who are trying to spread hate and pose hurdles” in developmental work in the state will “never succeed in their sinister plans”.
Citing the ‘Back to Village’ government initiative carried out in the state last month, Modi said the exercise had drawn an enthusiastic response from residents and that it proved that “development was stronger than the might of bullets and bombs”. The officials also reached out to villagers in conflict-riddled districts of Kashmir -- Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam and Anantnag, Modi said, adding that: “It shows how keen [the] people of Kashmir are ready to join mainstream development.”
The PM also referred to his previous Mann Ki Baat address that sought to make water conservation a national movement, and lauded Meghalaya and Haryana governments’ initiatives. “Witnessing the might of the collective is in itself heartwarming and satisfying,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)