JNS: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation to be courageous. He asked scientists not to get disheartened by the hurdles in the moon mission Chandrayaan-2 and affirmed that there will be a “new dawn”.
ISRO’s plan to soft-land Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram module on the Lunar surface did not go as per script in the early hours of Saturday, with the lander losing communication with ground stations during its final descent of 2.1 km on the surface of Moon .
Addressing the scientists hours after ISRO announced that it had lost communication with the lander, he also said that the country’s determination to land on the moon has become even stronger.
“We came very close, but we need to cover more ground…. Learnings from today will make us stronger and better,” he told the scientists, adding, “The best is yet to come in our space programme. India is with you.”
Describing ISRO an “encyclopedia of successes” , he said a few moments of halt cannot push its flight “out of trajectory” and that no hindrance can stop India from realising its dreams and aspiration in the 21st century.
Modi had earlier watched the proceedings as the lander began its descent towards the moon surface at an ISRO centre here.
Modi delivered a message of optimism, solidarity and hope to scientists in an address, which was broadcast live, seeking to rally the nation around the Indian Space Research Organisation, hours after it announced it had lost communication with the lander.
The nation is proud of them and stands with them, he said.
“We came very close, but we need to cover more ground in the times to come. Learning from today will make us stronger and better. The nation is proud of our space programme and scientists. The best is yet to come in our space programme. There are new frontiers to discover and new places to go. India is with you,” Modi said.
“Effort was worth it and so was the journey. It will make us stronger and better. There will be a new dawn and brighter tomorrow very soon… I am with you, nation is with you,” he added.
Praising the scientists, he said they ventured where no one previously went and India is proud of each and every one of them, and expressed confidence that they will achieve success in the next attempt.
The prime minister sought to lighten the mood in the moments of disappointment for scientists, saying the moon has been so much romanticised in poems and literature that Chandrayaan in its last steps ran to embrace it, a reference to Vikram’s failure to lower its speed as planned during its descent to the lunar surface.
This is how poets will describe it, he said, adding the will to touch the moon has now become stronger and more intense.
The prime minister began his near 25-minute speech, delivered in a mix of Hindi and English, with “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” (Hail Mother India) slogan, and said he could understand the feelings of scientists when it became clear that Chandrayaan-2’s final journey did not go as per plan.
“Your eyes said a lot and I could read the sadness on your face. I have lived those moments with you,” he said, adding that this was why he did not stay for long with them in the early hours and came back in the morning, not to preach them but to be inspired by them.
“When the message of communication cut-off with the mission was received, you were all shaken,” Modi said, as he sought to lift their morale, asserting it will strengthen their resolve for future successes.
Modi also recalled a number of ISRO’s successful missions, including the one for Mars, to assert that there is no failure in science but only experiments and efforts.
There will be many more opportunities to be proud of and rejoice, he said, adding that ISRO scientists do now draw lines on a butter cake but on stone.
“You came as close as you could, look ahead,” he said. There have been disappointing moments in the past, but they have not crushed our spirits, he said, adding that “the effort was worth it and so was the journey”.