After a 47-day journey carrying the anticipation of 135 crore people, Chandrayaan-2’s landing module failed to make a controlled landing on Moon, adding India to the list of countries that attempted and failed at this.
Till date, only three countries - Russia, the US and China-have successfully soft-landed on Moon. It was confirmed that the landing was unsuccessful, but Isro did not immediately elaborate on the reasons. Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the attempted landing from the mission control complex here.
“There are always ups and downs, I am confident we will achieve this in the next attempt,” Modi told the scientists.
Isro chairman had described the final 15-minute powered descent as “15 minutes of terror”. India was attempting to soft-land a probe on Moon for the first time, although it has already carried out an orbiter mission, Chandrayaan-1, around Moon in 2008.
Chandrayaan-1 carried a Moon Impact Probe (MIP), and the site at which it crash-landed was named Jawahar Point. Chandrayaan-2, comprising an orbiter, Vikram and a rover Pragyan, was launched on July 22 from Sriharikota.
When the mission was cleared by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 18, 2008, the project was to be a joint venture with Russia, whose space agency Roscosmos was to provide the lander. However, that deal fell through and Isro decided to go solo in 2012.