All was well and the nation was awake most of the night watching with anticipation the descent of Chandrayaan2's lander Vikram towards the Moon. Almost every one, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was waiting for the good news to come.
Vikram was descending with reduced velocity even as the brakes were being applied. When it was 2.1 km away from the Moon's surface, it slightly veered off its trajectory and then suddenly lost contact with the Earth stations. Initially, there was suspense at the Mission Control Centre, as scientists awaited for the faintest signal from Vikram which never came. The suspense was followed by gloom, and ISRO chairman K. Sivan announced that communication with the lander has snapped, and data are being collected.
So near, yet so far. On Saturday morning, addressing the space scientists and engineers in Bengaluru, the Prime Minister unequivocally said that "our will and determination will not waver despite obstacles".
Modi said, "Resilience and tenacity are central to Indian ethos. ..This is the reason, why despite so many obstacles, our civilization stands tall...I can proudly say that the effort was worth it and so was our journey."
The Prime Minister pointed out that the main vehicle Chandrayaan2 was still orbiting the Moon normally and shall continue to do so. He praised ISRO scientists and engineers by saying that they have dedicated major part of their lives towards bringing glory to Mother India.
Modi said, "the obstacle came at the last step (descent of Vikram), but we will not waver from the march towards our objective....The desire to hug the Moon has increased all the more after today's obstacle...You came as close as you could."
Every Indian is today confident that our resilient space scientists will definitely find out ways and means to carry out another lunar mission with spectacular success. Our scientists tried to soft-land Vikram near the South Pole of the Moon, a terrain which no country has reached so far.
I am sure the "new dawn", which the Prime Minister has spoken about, will soon come, thanks to the untiring efforts of our ISRO scientists.
Watch full episode here:
Aaj Ki Baat: Monday to Friday, 9 PM
India’s Number One and the most followed Super Prime Time News Show ‘Aaj Ki Baat – Rajat Sharma Ke Saath’ was launched just before the 2014 General Elections. Since its inception, the show is redefining India’s super-prime time and is numerically far ahead of its contemporaries.