There will be a new dawn: Modi on Chandrayaan-2
ISRO's plan to soft-land Chandrayaan-2's Vikram module on the Lunar surface did not go as per script, with the lander losing communication with ground stations during its final descent.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked ISRO scientists not to get disheartened by the hurdles in the moon mission Chandrayaan-2, and asserted 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.
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."
Modi had earlier watched the proceedings as the lander began its descent towards the moon surface at the ISRO centre in Bengaluru.
Meanwhile, the Congress party on Saturday said the country "stands by" ISRO after the space agency lost communication with its moon lander, and asserted that its effort was "not in vain" and laid the foundation for future missions.
As the powered descent of the lander began at around 1.38 am, scientists at ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) here were glued to their terminals, anticipating the soft landing.
They clapped and cheered as the moon lander completed the rough braking phase before the fine braking phase started. It was then that the situation became tense and the scientists went into a huddle.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan announced, "The Vikram lander descent was as planned and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently, communication from lander to the ground stations was lost. Data is being analysed."
If the lander had pulled off the historic touchdown, the country could have joined the US, Russia and China in soft landing on the lunar surface.