New Delhi: A few hours after ISRO scientists lost contact with Vikram lander that was central to India's ambitious moon mission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that he and the entire country was proud of the country's space agency.
Addressing scientists at ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru, the PM said, "We are full of confidence that when it comes to our space program, the best is yet to come, there are new frontiers to discover and new places to go to, we will rise to the occasion and scale newer heights of success."
"To our scientists I want to say, India is with you. You are exceptional people who have made an incredible contribution to national progress, you have given your best always, and will give us several more opportunities to smile. True to our nature you ventured to a place where no one has gone before. Aap log makhan pe lakeer kheenchne waale nahi pathar pe lakeer kheenchne waale log hain,” Modi said.
In a statement released a few hours ago, ISRO had said that Vikram Lander was moving as per plans but just 2.1 km above moon's surface, it lost contact with ground control centre. "The data is being analysed," said ISRO chief K Sivan in the statement.
When historians write the developments that happened today, they will not just be documenting our achievements in scientific language, Modi said, but in cultural terms as well.
“We have in our culture romanticised moon so much that it our romance was extended to Chandrayaan. That’s why perhaps in its final step Chandrayaan rushed to embrace the moon, in its desire to touch the moon’s surface,” he added.
The Prime Minister added that he too, like the scientists working on the lunar mission, was following the developments with anxiety, and when things did not go as planned, he could see, and relate with, the sadness in the eyes of the scientists.
“The sadness in your eyes was visible. I know that you haven’t slept for many nights...We start successfully and suddenly everything is invisible. I have also lived that moment when communication was off and you were stunned. I was watching it. There were questions in my mind also, how and why had it happened,” Modi said.
But Modi reassured the scientists that he and the entire country acknowledged the efforts that the scientists had made to get this far.
“You came as close as you could. You stayed steady and looked ahead. Sisters and brothers of India, resilience and tenacity are central to India’s ethos, in our glorious history of thousands of years we have faced moments that may have but they have never crushed our spirit, we have gone on to do spectacular things. This is why our civilisation stands tall.”
Modi went on to add that as important as the final result is the journey itself.
“I can proudly say that the efforts were worth it, as was the journey. Our team worked hard. Those teachings will always remain with us. We will look back at journey and effort with great satisfaction, the learning’s from today will make us stronger and better, there will be a new dawn and a brighter tomorrow very soon. I am proud of all of you. I am with you. Country is also with you.”
The entire country had been awake in solidarity with the scientists, Modi said. This was the same space agency that had put a hundred satellites in orbit in one go, which had scaled the frontier of Mars. What India’s space agency had achieved, Modi said, was no mean feat.
“ISRO has the encyclopedia of success, your flight cannot be out of trajectory,” Modi told his audience.