ISRO Chief K Sivan briefed PM Modi, who was at the ISRO control centre, before making the announcement
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed scientists at ISRO, hours after India's attempt to make a "soft" or controlled landing on the Moon's surface and probe the unexplored lunar South Pole suffered a major setback Saturday. The Chandrayaan 2 lander had lost communication with ISRO, the space agency had announced, moments before it was supposed to land near the south pole of the Moon.
PM Modi sought to boost the morale of the scientists after the Chandrayaan heartbreak, and praised their "resilience and tenacity". Speaking at the ISRO Control Centre in Bengaluru, he told the scientists: "India is with you! You are exceptional professionals who have made an incredible contribution to national progress".
The lander, Vikram - named after the India's space pioneer Vikram Sarabhai - was supposed to land on the moon's surface at 1:55 am following what ISRO had described as "15 minutes of terror". Communication with the Chandrayaan lander was lost just seconds before touchdown.
ISRO Chief K Sivan briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was then at the ISRO control centre, before making the announcement. "Vikram lander's descent was as planned and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently, the communication from the lander to ground station was lost. The data is being analysed," the ISRO chief said around 2:16 am.
After the announcement, PM Modi patted the ISRO chief on his back and told the scientists that "what you have done (already) is not a small achievement".
Chandrayaan's orbiter - which has a mission life of one year - remains operational and will continue to study the Moon from afar and send pictures of the lunar surface to ISRO.
Here are the highlights on Chandrayaan 2:
Former DRDO scientist Ravi Gupta on Saturday lauded Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for attempting to land on the South Pole of Lunar Surface and asserted that the achievements of the mission were ''marvellous'' despite lander Vikram losing contact with space stations minutes before landing on the lunar surface. While talking to ANI he said, "In such a highly complex mission, such type of things are not uncommon and it will take time to collect and analyze data to determine what had actually happened. We still have orbiter intact which is orbiting very close to the moon surface." Praising the efforts of the scientist and calling the mission a grand success, he said "Scientists in our country are putting a lot of efforts to solve the people's problem and to make their life better. They are not working for the sake of money as they can easily get better jobs and money from abroad missions. The mission as a whole is not a failure but a grand success"
Chief Ministers hail ISRO for its efforts
Chief Ministers from all across the nation hailed the ISRO stride towards the Moon.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took to Twitter, saying that ISRO's "work will not go in vain." He added that it would inspire many and "lay the foundation for many more path-breaking space projects and make India a leader in space science."
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar also took to the micro-blogging site, saying there were no failures, but only temporary roadblocks.
While Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hailed PM Modi's "leadership and the way he ignited courage, hope and motivation among the scientists and gave the mantra of "never give up and keep marching ahead", his Goa counterpart Pramod Sawant said the scientists were "among the few special ones in the world who possessed the expertise and capabilities to undertake space missions of such great magnitude."
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said that a "minor setback in the last stanza is a stepping stone for success."
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa took to Twitter to hail the ISRO for "having dared to land at South Pole of the Moon where no one else has ever attempted," adding that this was "just a success postponed."
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that he was certain that the ISRO scientists would overcome this "small setback."
While Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a tweet that there was no need to lose hope as "our scientists have done a great job," his Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh expressed hope for the revival of communication with the lander.
Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called the Chandrayaan-2 "a befitting tribute to our founding fathers who envisioned India's place in the league of scientifically advanced nations far ahead of their times."
"A testimony to the scientific temper they ingrained in us, and their unmatched caliber and dedication," she added.
Chief Ministers Jai Ram Thakur (Himachal Pradesh), Kamal Nath (Madhya Pradesh) and Raghubar Das (Jharkhand) also took to Twitter to congratulate the ISRO for its efforts.
Daniel Carmon, former Israeli ambassador to India, praises ISRO
"#India can & should be proud of its great teams of #ISRO scientists who have made it a world leader in #SpaceScience & practices.I am glad I followed the Live broadcast together with so many people in India & around the world. Getting where @Isro got is a great success by itself"
In April this year, Israel's made an unsuccessful attempt to land its Beresheet spacecraft on the moon. At the last minute its craft suffered an engine failure and apparently crashed onto the lunar surface
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra On Chandrayaan 2
"Proud of each and everyone on the #ISRO team. Setbacks are a part of the journey; without them, there is no success. The whole nation stands with you and believes in you"
Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering's Message To India On Chandrayaan 2
"We are proud of India and its scientists today. Chandrayaan-2 saw some challenges last minute but the courage and hard work you have shown are historical. Knowing Prime Minister
@narendramodi, I have no doubt he and his ISRO team will make it happen one day"
Our Resolve Has Strengthened, Says PM Modi
- "Today our resolve to touch the moon has strengthened"
- "You all are those who etch your name on stone, not in sand"
- "You all came ever so close... as close as one could be to success. Learn from your experience and move forward, look forward and carry on the work you do, for there will be many opportunities ahead, many missions ahead"
- "There will be a new dawn and a brighter tomorrow very soon"
- "When ISRO has its encyclopedia of success, some hurdles cannot put its flight out of trajectory"
PM Modi Addresses ISRO Scientists After Loss Of Contact With Chandrayaan 2 Lander
- "You spent your entire life making Mother India proud. I can understand your state of mind"
- "We came very close but we need to cover more ground. The best is yet to come"
- "India did not sleep through the night...The entire nation stands in solidarity with you all"
India Is With You: PM Modi Tells Scientists At The ISRO Control Centre
Chandrayaan 2: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, "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 professionals who have made an incredible contribution to national progress"
Chandrayaan 2: "At 8 AM this morning, I would be interacting with our hardworking space scientists at the ISRO Centre in Bengaluru," PM Modi tweets
Anand Mahindra Says Every Indian Can Feel Chandrayaan 2's Heartbeat
For ISRO scientists and millions of people watching India's moon mission Chandrayaan 2 with hope and pride, the loss of contact with lander Vikram came as a major setback. There was applause just moments ago as the lander successfully crossed stages of descent. Then, ISRO Chief K Sivan made the heartbreaking announcement. PM Modi told dejected scientists "There are ups and downs in life. We are proud of you"
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweets: "We are proud of our scientists. They have created history. No need to lose heart. Our scientists have done a great job. Jai Hind!"
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman After Loss Of Contact With Chandrayaan Lander
"We are with you @isro. You have brought the nation, it's young minds and all, together in sensing your achievements in Space. You will succeed"
Rahul Gandhi On Chandrayaan 2 Heartbreak
"Congratulations to the team at #ISRO for their incredible work on the Chandrayaan 2 Moon Mission. Your passion & dedication is an inspiration to every Indian. Your work is not in vain. It has laid the foundation for many more path breaking & ambitious Indian space missions"
Chandrayaan 2: What K Sivan Said After Loss Of Contact With Vikram Lander
1.55 am on Saturday came and went. Amid a stunned silence at the ISRO mission control room, India's top space scientist K Sivan first briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then made the grim announcement. Communication to the Chandrayaan 2's lander Vikram was lost. At 3.10 am, an ISRO scientist - not the chief -- announced that a planned press conference had been called off
"Don't lose hope. Be courageous. There are ups and downs in life. What you all have done is not a small thing. You have done a great service to the country, science and mankind. I am with you. I wish you all the best," PM Modi told the scientists.