Just 2.1 km short of moon: PM Modi revisit comes as boost to ISRO scientists

PM Narendra Modi said the entire nation was awake in solidarity because the scientists had embarked on one of the most ambitious missions of the space programme.

Published: 07th September 2019 09:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2019 01:15 PM   |  A+A-

PM Narendra Modi interacts with ISRO Chairman K Sivan after connection with the Vikram lander was lost during soft landing of Chandrayaan 2 on lunar surface.

PM Narendra Modi interacts with ISRO Chairman K Sivan after connection with the Vikram lander was lost during soft landing of Chandrayaan 2 on lunar surface. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: After a night of disheartenment from the incomplete mission Chandrayaan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a visit to the scientists at ISTRAC early on Saturday morning.

He was also seen consoling ISRO chairman K Sivan who was in tears as he saw off the prime minister. Several scientists in the control room who have worked sleepless nights for the success of the mission, were given a confidence booster.

The prime minister was earlier scheduled to meet the scientists and possibly address media persons in case the mission was successful. However after the lander Vikram of Chandrayaan 2 mission lost connectivity with the ground station during the final phases of soft landing, the mood in the control room grew quite tense.

ALSO READ: 'We will succeed, no one can stop us', says PM Modi after India falls 2.1 km short of moon

Your eyes said a lot. I could read the sadness on your face, said Modi, while trying to boost the scientists. "I have lived those moments with you when the communication went out and all were shaken.. Even after that, some showed signs of optimism because of the efforts in it. That is because of the utmost care that each one has put in for the mission," he added.

He encouraged the scientists that his visit was not one of morale-boosting but an opportunity for him to be inspired by the sea of inspirations that the scientists have been.

WATCH VIDEO: ISRO chief Sivan breaks down, PM Modi hugs, consoles him

He confided in them to cover more ground in the time to come, although the mission came very close to success this time around. He patted the scientists' back for the MOM mission, launching 100 satellites simultaneously, and considered this just an episode, compared to the encyclopedia of success that ISRO has tasted.

The officials are yet to declare the status of the lander Vikram and the rover Pragyan which is located within Vikram. The orbiter however is functioning as planned.

ALSO READ: Billion dreams eclipsed as Chandrayaan-2 lander loses signal during final descent

The last word was out by the ISRO Chairman late on Friday night. "Descent was as planned and normal performance was observed upto 2.1 km altitude. Subsequently communication from the lander to the ground station was lost. Data is being analysed," he had said.

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