ISRO’s K Sivan explains what he learnt from PM Modi’s hug after failed moon mission
Visuals of Prime Minister Modi hugging the ISRO chief in an attempt to console and encourage him after the soft landing on the lunar surface failed had gone viral on social media in September. PM Modi could also be seen patting Sivan as he broke down at the space agency’s headquarters in Bengaluru.
Looking ahead to the successful launch of Chandrayaan-3 in addition to a maiden solar expedition in 2020, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Sivan recalled on Thursday how Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hug after the space agency lost contact with Chandrayaan 2 lander Vikram in September, had taught him many lessons.
Three months ago, visuals of Prime Minister Modi hugging the ISRO chief in an attempt to console and encourage him after the soft landing on the lunar surface failed had gone viral on social media. The visuals, in which PM Modi could also be seen patting Sivan as he broke down at the space agency’s headquarters in Bengaluru, had grabbed a lot of attention across the country.
“When I was emotional, the honourable Prime Minister hugged me. He understood what really happened in my mind. He showed leadership. The hug taught me many lessons. It was great thing that the prime minister himself consoled me. That gave us big relief,” K Sivan told NDTV on Thursday.
Elaborating on the kind of encouragement the Prime Minister had provided when scientists at the space agency were feeling disillusioned after the failure of Chandrayaan 2, the ISRO chief said, “It gave us motivation that we should do more. That is the feeling that I had. We are working with more vigour now than we had earlier, to achieve more and more in the space system.”
Ahead of the space agency’s attempt to make a soft landing on the moon, K Sivan had described the countdown to the final descent as “15 minutes of terror”. His apprehension turned out to be correct as the Vikram lander lost all contact with the control room and could not be traced for a couple of weeks.
Chandrayaan 2 was ISRO’s first mission to attempt a soft landing on the moon’s surface. It was also India’s third expedition to a celestial body.
In 2019, the Indian Space Research Organisation has launched six vehicle missions and seven satellite missions, which included 50 foreign satellites from seven countries.
After the unsuccessful Chandrayaan-2 mission, ISRO has resolved to attempt a landing on the lunar surface with Chandrayaan-3 in addition to a planned maiden solar expedition in 2020.
Marking an attempt to land on the South Pole of the moon, Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22. However, the mission did not succeed and the country stopped short of becoming the first nation to successfully land on the lunar surface in its maiden attempt.