New Delhi: Chandrayaan-2's Vikram Lander was just 2.1 kilometres away from making history when it lost contact with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Mission Control Centre, in the wee hours of Saturday.
Hours later of the untoward incident in India's space history, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the scientists at ISRO Control Centre in Bengaluru and lauded their immense hardwork while asserting that ISRO’s achievements over decades had been so remarkable that it could not be dented by few incidents.
The international media had set is eyes on India's ambitious moon mission, which aimed to soft-land a rover on the moon's uncharted South Pole region, and becoming only the fourth nation in the world after the US, Russia, and China to conduct a soft landing on the moon.
The New York Times, in an article titled 'India Loses Contact With Chandrayaan-2 Moon Lander During Its Descent', hailed India's "engineering prowess and decades of space development".
"While India may not have stuck the landing on its first try, its attempt highlighted how its engineering prowess and decades of space development have combined with its global ambitions," the New York Times said.
The Guardian carried out a report titled 'India's moon landing suffers last-minute communications loss', said that the mission was "most complex and ambitious space project that India has embarked upon."
The Guardian also quoted Mathieu Weiss, a representative in India for France’s space agency CNES who said, "India is going where probably the future settlements of humans will be in 20 years, in 50 years, 100 years."
The Washington Post also covered India's Chandrayaan'2 journey which has sparked global attention. In an article, The Washington Post said that the mission had been a source of "immense national pride".
"One of the successes of India’s space program has been its cost-effectiveness. Chandrayaan-2 cost $141 million, a small fraction of what the United States spent on its historic Apollo moon mission," The Washington Post added.
While the communication link between India's moon lander Vikram and the moon orbiter got snapped as the former was descending towards the moon's South Pole, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said that the space agency will continue trying to establish the link with the lost Vikram lander for the next 14 days. He further added that the estimated life of the Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter is now seven years instead of one year.
He further said that 90 to 95 per cent of the mission objectives have been accomplished as the Orbiter was still in contact with ISRO and is expected to beam back critical information.
The Orbiter camera has the highest resolution camera (0.3m) among all lunar missions executed till date and will provide high-resolution images which will be immensely useful to the global scientific community.