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So Proud of ISRO’s Achievements, Say Students Who Watched Chandrayaan-2's Final Minutes with PM

The nail-biting moment when lander Vikram lost communication with the ground station barely 2.1 kms away from the lunar surface had left most of the students confused.

Stacy Pereira | CNN-News18

Updated:September 8, 2019, 5:57 AM IST
So Proud of ISRO’s Achievements, Say Students Who Watched Chandrayaan-2's Final Minutes with PM
PM Modi with students at ISRO (PTI)

Bengaluru: For 74 students who spent the wee hours of Saturday morning at the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), it was a slumber party of a different kind.

Thrilled, excited and exhilarated are just a few adjectives that sum up the time spent at Peenya where they gathered to witness the landing of Chandrayaan-2. Anushka Agarwal, a class 8 student from Ahmedabad, says this experience of a lifetime couldn't be expressed in words.

Agarwal had spent two hours every day over the last two weeks reading up on India's lunar mission. If given a chance, she wanted to pose a question to Prime Minister Modi who was also part of the audience, waiting with baited breath to witness the historic moment.

"I may not become an astronaut, but after visiting ISRO, I definitely want to pursue a career in space science. I wanted to ask the PM what would he do to keep brilliant Indian minds from not going abroad and rather work for a great organisation like ISRO," the 13-year old asked.

The nail-biting moment when lander Vikram lost communication with the ground station barely 2.1 km from the lunar surface left most of the students confused.

"We didn't know what was happening, but then we heard that we had lost communication with the lander, we saw tension on the faces of scientists. That's when we understood that there was something wrong, but then even the Prime Minister said we will not stop until we reach the moon, so I hope the next time is a success," said Adwitta Saxena from Delhi.

A dejected Saxena, who is a space science enthusiast, has set herself another target. She wants to join the Indian Air Force and be part of Indian's next ambitious Gaganyaan mission. Her message to the scientists at ISRO was simple. "Let's learn from our mistakes, because like APJ Abdul Kalam once said. If you want to shine like a sun, first burn like a sun," she said.

Bengaluru's Zishaan Sanjeeb is not wasting time looking back; he is already waiting for the launch of Chandrayaan-3 and has reposed great faith in ISRO's scientists.

"I would like to tell our brilliant scientists and engineers that we are so proud of every achievement and this setback is just a small glitch. I know for sure that our scientists are the best in the world," he says.

Even as he left the ISRO building, 13-year old V Pranav from Chennai said this would not be his last visit to the agency. With interest in coding and computer science, the student from Chinmaya Vidyalaya wants to come back to Bengaluru as an employee of ISRO.

"Yes, we all wanted this mission to be a success, but failure is not the end but a key to success, and this mission is 95% successful and that's what we all should be proud of," he said.

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