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Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugged and consoled an emotional K Sivan, the chief of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), outside the Chandrayaan 2 mission operations complex after his address to the scientists and the nation. It was an emotional moment considering the effort that went behind India’s second lunar mission.

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(September 7), with the lander losing communication with ground stations during its final descent.

Addressing the scientists, after ISRO announced that it had lost communication with the lander, the PM also said that the country’s determination to land on the moon has become even stronger.

The Prime Minister said: “Last night, I understood your frame of mind, the look in your eyes said a lot. That is why I did not stay here for long. We might not have reached the lunar surface as planned… You came as close as you could, stay steady and look ahead. We are full of confidence when it comes to our space programme the best is yet to come.”

 “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 an ISRO centre here.

“We will rise to the occasion and scale newer heights of success. To our scientists I want to say- India is with you! You are exceptional professionals who have made an incredible contribution to national progress,” PM Modi said.

After his address the Prime Minister went around shaking hands with scientists with words of encouragement, asking them to look ahead and not lose heart.

The Isro chief has had a very humble beginning as a son of farmer who studied in a local government schools in Tamil medium at Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. He has received various awards throughout his career, including Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Sathyabama University, Chennai in April 2014 and Shri Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr Vikram Sarabhai Research award for 1999.

Former ISRO Director D Sasikumar on Saturday (September 7) said that the communication loss with “Vikram” lander may not have been due to crash-landing.

“We have to find out from the communication data whether it is a soft landing or it is a crash landing. In my opinion, it is not a crash landing because the communication channel is on between the lander and the orbiter. It should be intact. So, let us hope after the analysis done, we may be able to get the final figure,” he said while talking to ANI.

The communication data which is missing is being analysed now, he said.

Earlier, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a tweet, “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 analyzed.”

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