It was an emotional momentum for not only the scientific community but for the entire nation, when ISRO chief broke down on the shoulders of Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Saturday morning after failing to complete the moon mission, Chandrayaan-2. While ISRO was successful in placing the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter on the moon’s orbit, they lost contact with the lander Vikram and rover Pragyan, when they were on an altitude of 2.1 kilometers from the moon surface.
After a pep talk to scientists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday gave a long and tight hug to an emotional ISRO chief K Sivan, who was in tears, unable to come to termsover lander Vikram’s unsuccessful bid to soft-land on the moon.
Mr. Modi, in his address at the ISRO centre here, asked the scientists not to get disheartened by the hurdles in the lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 and asserted that there will be a “new dawn”.
No sooner than the Prime Minister concluded his address, Mr. Sivan accompanied him to see him off.
At this juncture, the Prime Minister, who was on his way to get into his car, gave him a “reassuring” and tight hug, lending his shoulder to teary-eyed Mr. Sivan. The Prime Minister embraced Mr. Sivan as he made no secret of his deep disappointment as the ambitious venture did not pan out as intended.
— ANI (@ANI) September 7, 2019
This is just heart-wrenching. I think the ISRO chairman, K. Sivan was close to tears after briefing Modi. Tense atmosphere in ISTRAC #Chandrayaan2Live
— Chandra R. Srikanth (@chandrarsrikant) September 6, 2019
Leadership they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School.
— Skipper 🇮🇳 (@SeaSkipper) September 7, 2019
PM Narendra Modi hugged and consoled ISRO Chief K Sivan after he(Sivan) broke down.!!
This is making us cry. K Sivan Sir we are with you.
I am sure this cry will make us strong and come back again for Chandrayaan3 pic.twitter.com/RKvpeA82sn
— Sanjeev Chauhan (@Sanjeev50638216) September 7, 2019
Mr. Modi also said in his address 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.”
Earlier, Mr. Sivan, who his colleagues say is a task-master but a simple and genial individual, announced — his voice choking — that the lander had lost communication with the ground stations, and the data is being analysed.
The Prime Minister was present at the ISRO centre to witness the touch-down early Saturday and returned less than six hours later to address scientists and the nation at 8 am.
The soft landing of lander Vikram did not go according to ISRO’s plan as it lost contact with the ground station.