Bangaluru: Hours after ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan had announced from the Control Centre at the ISRO headquarters in Bangalore at 2.18 am Saturday that they have lost signals from Chandrayaan- 2 Lander Vikram when it was at an altitude of 2.1 km, Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was present to witness the Moon landing of Chandrayan-2 Lander at the ISRO HQ during the midnight hours said “India is proud of our scientists! They’ve given their best and have always made India proud. These are moments to be courageous, and courageous we will be!”
Boosting the morale of the scientists, the PM said: “The country is with you, I am with you. The effort was worth it and so was the journey.” Continuing with his appreciation of all the work put in by the scientists in the Chandrayaan-2 Mission, Modi said he was present when the communication with the vehicle was lost. He went on to refer to “several unanswered questions” and said he was sure that they would find the answers. Click here for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address
There were several rounds of joyful clapping when the Lander’s breaking engines were fired around 1.50 am to de-orbit the vehicle, travelling at 1.7 km/s at 100 km altitude, and to allow it to reach a periapsis of 18 km. Again there was excitement and clapping at the end of the rough breaking phase at around 7 kms. At that point the downward trajectory of the Lander was visible at the large screen at the Control Centre. Suddenly there was total silence and worry was writ large on every face when the descending Lander, visible graphically on the big screen, froze at just one point about 90 seconds ahead of what would have been a historic landing on Moon.
The scientists involved in the Chandrayaan-2 Mission deserve every praise for working with total dedication to expand technologies from Chandrayaan-1 and build newer technologies for future planetary missions.
The soft landing of Lander Vikram at a specfied lunar site and deployment of Rover to carry out on the spot analysis of chemicals was an important objective of the mission that ended in a fiasco.