Chandrayaan 2 mission is a "huge step forward for India" and it will continue to produce valuable data to fuel scientific advancements, the United States said today, a day after India's second moon mission hit a snag during a historic landing attempt.
"We congratulate ISRO on their incredible efforts on Chandrayaan 2. The mission is a huge step forward for India and will continue to produce valuable data to fuel scientific advancements," Alice G Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia said in a late-night tweet.
"We have no doubt that India will achieve its space aspirations," the US diplomat added.
In its post, the State Department also quoted a tweet from US space agency NASA, which tagged the Indian Space Research Organisation and congratulated India for the moon landing attempt.
"Space is hard. We commend @ISRO's attempt to land their #Chandrayaan2 mission on the Moon's South Pole. You have inspired us with your journey and look forward to future opportunities to explore our solar system together (sic)," NASA had tweeted. The State Department's post has been retweeted by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
We congratulate @ISRO on their incredible efforts on #Chandrayaan2. The mission is a huge step forward for India and will continue to produce valuable data to fuel scientific advancements. We have no doubt that India will achieve its space aspirations. AGW https://t.co/r1TAjvRl47— State_SCA (@State_SCA) September 7, 2019
On Saturday, India would have become the fourth country - after Russia, US and China - to soft land on moon. However, minutes before the Chandrayaan 2 lander Vikram was expected to touch down on the lunar surface, ISRO lost communication with the lander.
Scientists at the space agency have not given up hope on establishing contact with the lander yet.
Today, Chandrayaan 2 lunar Vikram was located on the moon's surface and the ground station is working to establish contact, ISRO chief K Sivan said.
"We've found the location of lander Vikram on lunar surface and orbiter has clicked a thermal image of the lander. But there is no communication yet. We are trying to have contact. It will be communicated soon," Mr Sivan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
On Saturday, Mr Sivan blamed faulty execution in the last stage of the operation for the loss of communication. "The last part of the operation was not executed in the right manner. It was in that phase that we lost link with the lander, and could not establish contact subsequently," he said.
India's determination to touch the moon has become even stronger and the best is yet to come, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday as he addressed scientists at the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru on Saturday. "We came very close, but we need to cover more ground.... Learnings from today will make us stronger and better," PM Modi said.