Chandrayaan 2: Commending ISRO, NASA expresses interest in teaming up in future solar system exploration missions

The UAE Space Agency also came forward to lend ISRO support after news that contact with the spacecraft has been lost.


A day after India's Chandrayaan 2 moon mission faced a critical snag while attempting a historic landing on the uncharted South Pole of the Moon, the American space agency NASA commended the Indian Space Research Organistion for its efforts, adding that "space is hard". The agency also expressed interest in working with ISRO in future missions to explore the solar system.

"We commend ISRO’s attempt to land their Chandrayaan 2 mission on the Moon’s South Pole. You have inspired us with your journey and look forward to future opportunities to explore our solar system together," NASA said in a tweet.

ISRO intended to soft-land the Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander on the lunar surface, which didn't go as scripted. The lander, in the final 2.1-km leg of its 34 km descent, lost communication with ground stations.

Chandrayaan 2: Commending ISRO, NASA expresses interest in teaming up in future solar system exploration missions

Illustration of Vikram lander. Image: ISRO.

A senior Trump administration official also praised India's Chandrayan-2, describing ISRO's efforts as "incredible".

"We congratulate ISRO on their incredible efforts on Chandrayaan 2. The mission is a huge step forward for India and will continue to produce valuable data to fuel scientific advancements. We have no doubt that India will achieve its space aspirations," Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, Alice G Wells, tweeted.

Lessons learnt from India's "bold attempt" to soft-land the Vikram lander on the moon's surface will help many countries, the US included, in future missions, former NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger told PTI.

"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," Linenger said.

Glimpse inside ISRO's control room during landing module's first in-orbit manoeuvre on 3 September. Image: ISRO

Glimpse inside ISRO's control room during landing module's first in-orbit manoeuvre on 3 September. Image: ISRO

The UAE Space Agency also lent ISRO support after news that it had lost contact with their spacecraft, tweeting, "The UAE Space Agency assure their full support to the ISRO following the loss of contact with their spacecraft, Chandrayaan-2 which had to land on the moon. India proved to be a strategic player in the space sector and a partner in its development & achievements.”

In a 7 September statement, ISRO stressed that the Chandrayaan 2 mission was largely a success, with a lot more science expected to come by means of the orbiter. Despite the setback with the Vikram lander, the orbiter will last 7 times longer than planned, the ISRo Chief confirmed.

 

Find our entire collection of stories, in-depth analysis, live updates, videos & more on Chandrayaan 2 Moon Mission on our dedicated #Chandrayaan2TheMoon domain.