Nobel laureate Serge Haroche on Wednesday said Indian Space Research Organisation scientists will definitely try to solve the complication with the moon lander, which had last week lost contact with the ground station before its touchdown close to the lunar south pole, IANS reported.
“I don’t know what happened with this [moon lander Vikram] but they will certainly try to solve the problem,” the French scientist told the news agency.
He offered words of encouragement to the Indian space agency on the sidelines of the ‘Nobel Prize Series India 2019’ event at the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute in Mohali.
“Science is something where you are going in the unknown...you have surprises, sometime good surprises and sometime you have bad surprises and failures,” Haroche said. “I think the people who work in this area should know that there are failures,” he added. “Since a lot of money is involved in science, it has to do with economic and politics and I don’t like this mixture.” Haroche had won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2012.
Haroche added that there was “too much expectation and media attention around the mission and when you lose, there is disappointment”. The Nobel laureate, who is a member of the French and European Academies of Sciences, said that India needs to invest money into small-scale physics projects, even if they do not get the media attention that big projects like the moon mission receive. “The best investment a country can make is investing in young minds,” Haroche said. “It is important for India to make sure that a large faction of them should come back to India because we need these people here.”
In the early hours of September 7, ISRO had lost contact with the lander. The lander 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 losing contact with the ground station. The space agency, in a statement on Saturday, had said the Chandrayaan-2 mission was “highly complex” and its achievements were a “significant technological leap” compared to the space agency’s earlier projects.
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