Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday congratulated ISRO, saying the passion and dedication of the scientists is an inspiration to the masses. His remark came after communication with the Chandrayaan 2 lander was lost seconds before it was supposed to touch down on the Moon's surface.
"Congratulations to the team at ISRO for their incredible work on the Chandrayaan 2 Moon mission. Your passion and dedication is an inspiration to every Indian. Your work is not in vain. It has laid the foundation for many more path breaking and ambitious Indian space missions," Mr Gandhi tweeted.
The Moon lander Vikram separated from its orbiting mothership and performed a series of manoeuvres to lower its altitude for a touchdown. It used rocket thrusters to slow itself down to attempt the extremely tricky operation that ISRO called "15 minutes of terror". It was at this point, about 2.1 km from the surface, that contact was lost.
"Vikram lander's descent was as planned and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently communication from lander to ground was lost. The data is being analysed," ISRO chief K Sivan informed.
Mr Gandhi's party also expressed solidarity with the ISRO scientists.
"The nation stands by the entire team of ISRO as we wait in these tense times. Your hard work and commitment has made our nation proud. Jai Hind," the party tweeted.
PM Modi, who was in the control room, also gave a pep-talk to the scientists.
"There are ups and downs in life. This is not a small achievement. The nation in proud of you. Hope for the best. I congratulate you. You all have done a big service to nation, science and mankind. I am with you all the way, move forward bravely," PM Modi said.
The Chandrayaan 2 lifted off from its launch pad at Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota on July 23 on board the giant heavy-lift rocket GSLV Mark 3.
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