‘Not a small achievement, country is proud of you’, PM Modi tells Isro scientists
As Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander lost communication with the ground stations early on Saturday just ahead of the soft landing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed solidarity with Isro scientists. PM Modi, who was at the Isro control centre to watch the touchdown of Vikram lander near the moon’s South Pole, gave the dispirited scientists a pep talk and said, “the country is proud of you”.
“I could see the anxiety on your faces. There is no need to get disappointed because it is not a small achievement,” he said.
Follow LIVE updates here.
Several minutes after the expected time of Vikram’s landing came and went, Isro chairman K Sivan announced that communication with the lander had been lost.
“The signal from lander Vikram was lost during the Fine Braking phase of its descent when it was only a few kilometres away from the lunar surface,” said Isro chairman K Sivan.
PM Modi patted the back of the Isro chaiman and said, “Your effort is commendable and we hope for the best. We have learnt something today. You have served the country, science, and the mankind very well.”
Modi also tweeted: “These are moments to be courageous, and courageous we will be! We remain hopeful and will continue working hard on our space programme. India is proud of our scientists! They’ve given their best and have always made India proud.”
WATCH| Chandrayaan 2: ‘Don’t lose heart’, says PM Modi after Vikram lander loses contact during descent
PM Modi will be interacting with the scientists at 8 am, in the backdrop of Chandrayaan-2’s lander ‘Vikram’ losing contact with ground stations after coming tantalizingly close to making a successful landing.
If the lander had pulled off the historic touchdown, the country would have become just the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to successfully land on the moon.
India could have also been the first to lower its lander on the hitherto unexplored south polar region of the moon.
Along with the scientists from Indian Space Research Organisation, PM Modi and over 70 students from across the country were at the ground station to witness the lander’s descent.
India’s second lunar mission was launched on July 22 from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, a week after the launch was aborted at the eleventh hour when the system detected a “technical snag”.
Chandrayaan 2 covered a distance of close to 384,400 km to the moon in the 48 days since its launch, with scientists meticulously performing 15 complex planned manoeuvres to guide it to its destination.