Indian PM Narendra Modi praised Indian scientists and promised the country’s space program had not yet seen its finest hour after the loss of the Vikram lunar lander as it attempted its descent to the Moon.
“The entire nation was awake in solidarity with our scientists who had embarked on one of the most ambitious mission of space. You are exceptional citizens who have given incredible contribution in progress of the nation,” Modi said as he addressed the scientists following a sleepless night at ISRO.
There will be many more opportunities to be proud and rejoice,” Modi told the nation in a televised address on Saturday after being briefed on the spacecraft’s fate. “At the same time, we are full of confidence that when it comes to our space program, the best is yet to come.”
“There are new frontiers to discover and new places to go. We will rise to the occasion…to our scientists, I want to say, India is with you.”
Space scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation spent nearly six hours analyzing various data and telemetry they received before communication with the spacecraft was lost at an altitude of roughly 2 kilometers above the Moon’s surface.
While the orbiter continues to operate normally, with India’s failure to land the rover the Moon Club remains fairly exclusive. Only the former Soviet Union, the US and China have successfully landed a man-made device on the Earth’s satellite so far.