The much awaited moment of Chandrayaan 2’s moon landing was met with bated breath and a deafening silence as ISRO broke the news that they had lost contact with the lander - Vikram. Prime Minister Modi has extended his support to the scientists and will address the nation at 8 am.
Bengaluru: Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram began its descent on to the surface of the Moon as planned but soon after, ISRO scientists revealed that contact with the lander had been lost.
The descent began at around 1:40 am and continued for the next few minutes as it was supposed to. However, just a few minutes before Vikram's scheduled landing, ISRO stopped receiving data from the Chandrayaan-2 lander.
Tensed scientists could be seen conferring amongst each other, waiting for Vikram to send back data.
Shortly after 2:15 am, which is about over ten minutes after Vikram's scheduled touchdown time -- ISRO chief K Sivan confirmed that contact with the lander had been lost. Sivan said data is being analysed to figure out what happened.
The scientists have not released any more information since then. ISRO scientist Deviprasad Karnik who spoke to reporters gathered at the media tent at the ISRO centre in Bengaluru said that the space is agency is "not sure" if the Chandrayaan-2 lander crashed. "Data is being analysed. We don't have any result yet. It takes time. We are not sure," Karnik said on being asked if the Vikram lander had crashed.
ISRO calls off press conference
An Indian Space Research Organisation official said that the space agency will not be briefing the media for now. The official reiterated what Isro chief K Sivan said earlier. "[The] Vikram lander descent was as planned and normal performance was observed till 2.1 km altitude [above Moon's surface]. Subsequently communication was lost. Data is being analysed. Planned press conference is called off," the official told reporters gathered at the ISRO centre in Bengaluru.
PM Modi to address the nation at 8 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation at 8am from ISRO’s control centre in Bengaluru. Earlier in the morning, PM Modi said India is proud of ISRO scientists.
He had left from the ISRO centre after the space agency had lost contact with Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander.
Shortly before leaving, he interacted with the scientists and encourage them, “There are ups and downs in life... the country is proud of you.”
Tweets pour in for ISRO scientists
From finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Piyush Goyal, tweets have poured in for the commendable work that the ISRO scientists have been doing.
Home minister Amit Shah tweeted, "Isro's achievement with getting Chandrayaan-2 so far has made every Indian proud. India stands with our committed and hard working scientists at Isro. My best wishes for future endeavours."
ISRO’s achievement with getting Chandrayaan-2 so far has made every Indian proud.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) September 6, 2019
India stands with our committed and hard working scientists at @isro.
My best wishes for future endeavours.
Rahul Gandhi also took to Twitter to say, “Congratulations to the team at Isro for their incredible work on the Chandrayaan-2 Moon mission. Your passion and dedication is an inspiration to every Indian. Your work is not in vain. It has laid the foundation for many more path breaking and ambitious Indian space missions."
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Last Updated Sep 7, 2019, 4:59 PM IST