Widespread International Support and Encouragement for ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 Mission
Sept. 9, 2019 (EIRNS)—Despite the failure of the Chandrayaan-2 mission’s Vikram lander to make a soft landing on the Moon’s South Pole Sept. 6, messages of support continue to flow into the offices of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), congratulating it for its “bold” effort and emphasizing that the mission will provide valuable lessons for all those—current and future generations—committed to exploring the universe.
The Hindustan Times today quoted an ISRO official reporting that the Vikram lander was lying “intact” and “tilted” on the lunar surface, although ISRO Chairman Dr. K. Sivan has made no official confirmation. Dr. Sivan has emphasized that even if the lander and its rover Pragyan are intact, they can’t transmit any scientific information unless communication is re-established.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted today, “Space exploration brings out the best in us all. Even when a mission doesn’t go as planned, our efforts inspire those who come after us to continue reaching for the stars. Thank you @ISRO for inspiring generations with your #Chandrayaan2 mission.”
A similar message came from former NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger, who flew for five months on the Russian space station Mir, which operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001. Speaking Sept. 6 from a live broadcast of the Chandrayaan-2 landing attempt on the National Geographic Channel, Linenger said “we should not be too discouraged. India was trying to do something very, very difficult. In fact, everything was going as planned as the lander came down.... If you step back and look at the big picture, this [attempt] would obviously be very helpful for follow-on missions.” Congratulating ISRO for attempting the lunar landing, he concluded, “I look forward to watching complete success in the future based upon lessons learned from this bold attempt.”
Namira Salim, Pakistan’s first female astronaut, congratulated ISRO “on its historic attempt to make a soft landing of the Vikram lander at the South Pole of the Moon.”
“The Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission is indeed a giant leap for South Asia which not only makes the region but the entire global space industry proud,” she told the Karachi-based publication Scientia.”
“Regional developments in the space sector in South Asia are remarkable and no matter which nation leads—in space, all political boundaries dissolve and in space—what unites us, overrides, and divides us on Earth,” she said. Salim is the first Pakistani to fly in space with Virgin Galactic, the commercial spaceflight company.
On the internet, many Chinese citizens have also enthusiastically expressed their support to ISRO, reports Global Times today.