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Chandrayaan-2 is a set back, but not a failure, say Isro officials

Millions have backed Isro through the #ProudofIsro campaign on Twitter

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifts off onboard GSLV Mk III-M1 launch vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. ISRO had called off the launch on July 15 after a technical snag was detected ahead of the lif
India’s second Moon mission - Chandrayaan-2

Isro officials said on Saturday that losing contact with Chandrayaan2's lander and and rover was a setback and not a failure.

Officials, who are analysing data to determine the reasons behind the setback, said that while it was impossible to retrieve the lander (Vikram) and the rover (Pragyan), only 5 per cent of the mission was lost. The remaining 95 per cent of the mission - the orbiter - was still orbiting the moon successfully.

The orbiter will take pictures of the moon, and probably even of the lander, and transmit them to ISRO, where they will be analysed.

In the early hours of Saturday, communication from Vikram lander to ground stations was lost when it was at an altitude of 2.1 kms ábove the lunar surface, while attempting a soft landing.

Meanwhile, across the social media, millions have backed Isro through the #ProudofIsro campaign on Twitter. The list includes the President of India, the prime minister, the home minister and some of the corporate heads.

"India is proud of our scientists! They’ve given their best and have always made India proud. These are moments to be courageous, and courageous we will be! Chairman @isro gave updates on We remain hopeful and will continue working hard on our space programme," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. He also addressed Isro scientists on Saturday morning and was seen consoling an emotional Isro Chairman, K Sivan.

"ISRO’s achievement with getting so far has made every Indian proud. India stands with our committed and hard working scientists at @isro. My best wishes for your future endeavors," said home minister Amit Shah in a tweet.

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra in his tweet said, "The communication isn’t lost. Every single person in India can feel the heartbeat of #chandrayaan2. We can hear it whisper to us that ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.’"

"The path to success will have pit falls but effort n endurance will clear the path n succeed we will. ISRO scientists will figure it out. The orbiter is a great sign of their scientific success," said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director, Biocon.

First Published: Sat, September 07 2019. 10:01 IST