© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
India loses contact with spacecraft on moon mission
INDIA on Saturday said it has lost contact with a spacecraft it was trying to land on the moon, the first of its kind to confirm the presence of water near the lunar south pole.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) confirmed that the lander of the Chandrayaan-2 moon mission was attempting a “soft,” or controlled when communication was lost at the point of touch down.
“There are ups and downs in life … What you have accomplished is no small achievement,”Narendra Modi, India Prime Minister said in a national broadcast.
“If historians someday write about today’s incident, they will certainly say that inspired by our romantic description of the moon throughout life, Chandrayaan, in the last leg of the journey, rushed to embrace the moon,”
“I can proudly say that the effort was worth it and so was the journey.
“We are full of confidence that when it comes to our space program, the best is yet to come.”
Modi, who was at ISRO’s Bangalore space center to watch the landing, said after Sivan’s announcement that what the scientists had already accomplished was “not a small achievement.”
“Ups and downs keep coming in life. Your hard work has taught us a lot and the entire country is proud of you,” said Modi. “If the communication starts again … hope for the best … Our journey will carry on.”
The Prime Minister noted that “As important as the final result is the journey and the effort, there will be a new dawn and a brighter tomorrow soon!”
“Our effort and journey to the moon was worth it.”
As important as the final result is the journey and the effort.
Our effort and journey to the moon was worth it.
There will be a new dawn and a brighter tomorrow soon! pic.twitter.com/VgK8WaABQg
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 7, 2019
Sivan. K, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation described the last minutes before the loss of contact as “15 minutes of terror” but he also said that data is being analysed to detect what factors led to the mishap.
Mukund Rao, a 24 years former ISRO scientist and chief executive of the Centre for Spatial Analytics and Advanced GIS, however, was of the opinion that there may have been gaps in planning the moon landing.
“They have to go back to the drawing board and try it once again.”
Only the United States, Russia and China have landed on the moon. Beijing’s Chang’e-4 probe touched down on the far side this year, while Israel made an unsuccessful attempt to land its Beresheet spacecraft on the moon in April.