Hours after Indian Space Research Organisation lost contact with the lunar lander, Vikram of Chandrayaan-2, adulation and words of encouragement poured in for the space agency’s endeavour. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was at the Bengaluru headquarters to witness the landing on Saturday morning, urged the scientists not to be disheartened.

Early on Saturday, the lander carried by India’s second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, had launched itself towards the moon and fought against its gravity for more than 28 km, slowing down almost to a halt mid-air, before it lost contact with the ground station.

President Ram Nath Kovind said that the country was proud of the space agency, which had shown exemplary commitment and courage for the moon mission, PTI reported.

“I want to tell the scientists of ISRO that ‘hum honge kamayab, mann me hai vishwas, poora hai vishwas hum honge kamyaab ek din’ [lyrics of a song: We shall overcome, Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe. We shall overcome, some day],” Kovind said. “It was coincidence and not misfortune. We covered 3.84 lakh-km journey successfully, only 2.1 km were left. The distance left is negligible on such a huge scale. It’s such a huge achievement.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday consoled Indian Space Research Organisation’s Director K Sivan after his address to the scientists from the space agency’s control room in Bengaluru. “You are among those who live and work hard to take India to new heights,” the prime minister said earlier in the day. “You are the ones who sacrifice your own dreams and spend sleepless nights to keep India’s head high.”

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Home Minister Amit Shah said that the space agency’s achievement in getting Chandrayaan-2 so far had “made every Indian proud”. “India stands with our committed and hard working scientists at ISRO,” Shah tweeted. “My best wishes for future endeavours.”

“India is proud of ISRO and its team of scientists,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted. “The ISRO’s mission to reach the Moon is bound to succeed. Their courage and commitment will ultimately make it successful. I wish team ISRO a great success in their future endeavours.” he also quoted a line of Hindi poetry, saying “those who try never lose”.

Union minister Prakash Javadekar said that the entire country stood with the scientists at the space agency. “ISRO scientists have amazing achievements in the past and will achieve many more in the future,” Javadekar tweeted.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath said that India was proud of its scientists. “They’ve been a source of perennial inspiration for all of us with their vision, commitment & tenacity,” the chief minister’s office said in a tweet. “ISRO Chairman has given updates on Chandrayaan-2. I am certain we shall continue to do well in our space program.”

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the space agency’s work was inspiring and that Modi had spoken for all of them. “Confident you will succeed,” he said.

Opposition leaders praise ISRO

Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi said that the second moon mission had laid the foundation for greater achievements and that the entire country awaited the next attempt at space exploration. “We owe a great debt to ISRO and the brilliant men and women who staff it,” PTI quoted Gandhi as saying. “Their hard work and dedication has earned India a place in the league of space-faring nations and have inspired generations to reach for the stars.”

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also congratulated the ISRO team for doing incredible work. “Your passion and dedication is an inspiration to every Indian,” Gandhi tweeted. “Your work is not in vain. It has laid the foundation for many more path breaking and ambitious Indian space missions.”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the country was “proud of our scientists”. He tweeted: “They have created history. No need to lose heart. Our scientists have done a great job.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the scientists had worked hard for the Chandrayaan-2 mission and the country was with them. “We are proud of our scientists,” Banerjee tweeted. “A befitting tribute to our founding fathers who envisioned India’s place in the league of scientifically advanced nations far ahead of their times.”

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy said “we are almost there” and called it a “minor setback in the last stanza is a stepping stone for success”. He also commended the “exemplary efforts” by the space agency’s team.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury lauded the work done by the scientists and said that he was confident that the next steps would be “more satisfying”. “The history of our scientific milestones has shown us how the fight and struggle has been continuous,” Yechury tweeted. “Bravo that ISRO and our scientists got us so far.”

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