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Home / India News / United States lauds ISRO, says ‘space is hard’ work

United States lauds ISRO, says ‘space is hard’ work

ISRO and NASA have a growing list of issues of cooperation, getting a boost from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2014 meeting with President Barack Obama.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2019 20:59 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifted off onboard the launch vehicle from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on July 22.
India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifted off onboard the launch vehicle from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on July 22.(PTI PHOTO.)

The United States, a pioneer in space exploration, joined the world on Saturday to commend the Indian space agency, ISRO, that has been distraught over Chandrayaan-2’s missed rendezvous with the Moon’s South Pole, for its “incredible efforts” and also to console it saying “space is hard” work.

“We congratulate @ISRO on their incredible efforts on #Chandrayaan2. The mission is a huge step forward for India and will continue to produce valuable data to fuel scientific advancements,” Alice G Wells, the top US diplomat for South and Central Asia wrote on Twitter on Friday. “We have no doubt that India will achieve its space aspirations.”

Wells’s post came with a re-tweet of NASA’s that said, as has been reported, “Space is hard. We commend @ISRO’s attempt to land their #Chandrayaan2 mission on the Moon’s South Pole. You have inspired us with your journey and look forward to future opportunities to explore our solar system together.”

ISRO and NASA have a growing list of issues of cooperation, getting a boost from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2014 meeting with President Barack Obama. The two countries started then, according to a joint statement, “a new dialogue on maintaining long-term security and sustainability of the outer space environment, including space situational awareness and collision avoidance in outer space”. Three meetings have taken place under this programme since, in 2015, 2016 and 2019.

These ties hit a rough patch earlier in the year briefly over India’s anti-satellite testing. NASA suspended all ongoing cooperation expressing concern over the resulting space debris. But the White House swiftly brought ties back on the rails, in a matter of days.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, who had called the test a “terrible, terrible thing” and suspended all cooperation, wrote subsequently to ISRO chairman K Sivan reversing himself and listed out full resumption of of ties, which he listed out as those “using the NASA-ISRO Human Space Flights Working Group, Planetary Science Working Group, US-India Earth Science Working Group, and the Heliophysics Working Group”.