Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked ISRO scientists not to get disheartened by the hurdles in the moon mission Chandrayaan-2 and asserted that there will be a "new dawn".
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."
“I have lived the moment with you when communication with spacecraft was lost, our courage has become stronger,” said Modi, who earlier watched the proceedings as the lander began its descent towards the moon surface at an ISRO centre.
“We came very close but we need to cover more grounds,” he added.
ISRO chief breaks down
Years of hard work literally came to naught for ISRO after it lost communication with Moon lander Vikram, and no amount of words could put it right for the scientists at ISTRAC here.
Despite Modi's motivational speech, ISRO Chairman K Sivan could not hold his tears and broke down as the PM was about to leave.
In a very visible emotional outburst, Sivan was seen in tears. Modi who was being accompanied by the scientist on his way out, immediately hugged him and held him. Words were exchanged as a disturbed and disappointed Sivan took time to gain his composure.
Earlier, patting Sivan's back, the prime minister had said: "Whatever you all have done today is no mean feat. I am with you. Be courageous."
(With inputs from IANS and PTI)