K Sivan, the chief of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was downcast after the space agency lost contact with Chandrayaan 2 lander ‘Vikram’ just when its descent to moon was initiated and despites words of motivation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi he could not fight back his tears.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugged and consoled a teary eyed Sivan outside the mission operations complex after his address to the scientists and the nation. The PM too appeared emotional.
— ANI (@ANI) September 7, 2019
Addressing the scientists, 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.”
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.
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 an ISRO centre here.
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.