Chandrayaan-3 landed on the moon this evening in a mission seen as crucial to lunar exploration and India’s standing as a space power, just days after a similar Russian lander crashed. As the country celebrated the giant feat, X (formerly Twitter) was filled with photos of former ISRO chief K Sivan.
The photos showed an emotional Sivan after the failure of the Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2019. Some photos also showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi consoling him. The message conveyed by the photos was that failure is merely the stepping stone to success.
— Rishi Bagree (@rishibagree) August 23, 2023
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Moment when Communication lost with Vikram Lander to emotional moments when PM Modi hugged and consoled ISRO chief Dr Sivan!❤️🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/0HqOG6xQgg
— ADV. ASHUTOSH J. DUBEY 🇮🇳 (@AdvAshutoshBJP) August 23, 2023
“This day is an example of how to achieve success by learning from our defeats,” PM Modi said, in a congratulatory message, referencing India’s previous moon mission.
Wednesday’s landing had been eagerly awaited by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) after the frustrating failure of its previous mission at the last hurdle in 2019.
The mission control lost contact with the Chandrayaan-2 lunar module moments before its slated landing. Back at the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru, K Sivan broke down. The Prime Minister, who had flown down to the southern city to watch the landing event, hugged and consoled Mr Sivan.
“We are really excited…We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. I am very happy,” Mr Sivan said today on the Chandrayan-3 mission.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi smiled broadly on a live broadcast to announce the mission’s success as a triumph that extended beyond his country’s borders.
“On this joyous occasion I would like to address the people of the world,” said Modi from the sidelines of the BRICS diplomatic summit in South Africa.
“India’s successful moon mission is not just India’s alone,” he added. “This success belongs to all of humanity.”
The unmanned Chandrayaan-3, which means “Mooncraft” in Sanskrit, touched down at 6:04 pm as mission control technicians cheered wildly and embraced their colleagues.