Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that the Isro researchers would be undeterred by the Chandrayaan-2 mission’s setback and that the country would attain its objective of reaching the moon. Modi spoke hours after the Chandrayaan-2 mission’s Vikram lander lost touch with the ground center during Saturday’s wee hours in Bengaluru, a moment he experienced personally.
Here’s what PM said while appreciating the hard work and efforts of the ISRO scientists: “Today, our resolve to touch and embrace Moon has only become stronger. Sisters and brothers of India, for the last few hours, the entire nation was awake with you. We were awake to have solidarity with our scientists, who had embarked on one of the most ambitious missions of our space programme. We came very close (to land on Moon) but we will need to cover more ground in times to come. Every Indian is filled with sense of pride. We are proud of our scientists, their hard work and determination.”
The PM rubbed an emotional Isro president K Sivan’s back and embraced him to console him about Vikram lander’s loss. He said that, ‘”Friends, last night I recognized your state. Your eyes said many stuff, and I was able to read your gloomy faces. So I didn’t remain among you much longer. You haven’t been sleeping for hours. Every individual associated with this task was in a distinct frame of mind. There were a lot of issues, therefore. You had all worked hard and all of a sudden all stopped working before you. I also felt with you those tense moments when all of you looked broken. I also had the evident questions about why it happened and how it happened. You had plenty of Vikram lander expectations because you put a lot of effort into it.’
The landing started minutes before Saturday 1:40. And all went straight according to plan for the next few minutes. Jubilant Isro researchers cheered and clapped at the Mission Operations Complex as Vikram acted on the lunar surface at the multiple phases of descent.
And then suddenly, about 12 minutes after the decent start of Vikram, things came awry. Those outside the control center of Isro didn’t understand what was wrong. But, the pin-drop silence at the control center and the worry creeping on the Isro scientists ‘ faces there gave the impression that something was going wrong.