India loses communication with lunar lander shortly before scheduled landing on Moon

India's second Moon mission, Chandrayaan-2's Lander Vikram, lost communication with the ground station at an altitude of 2.1 kilometers from the Lunar surface, said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K. Sivan on Saturday. 

Vikram was scheduled to land on the moon surface at around 01:55 a.m. (Indian Standard Time). 

However, as no data could be received from the Rover "Pragyan" even after several minutes had passed, the atmosphere turned somber inside the ISRO control room. ISRO chief rushed to brief Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was present on the occasion to watch the landing process, to brief him about the loss of communication with the Lander. 

Later, Modi tweeted that India was proud of its scientists, and that the country will continue with its space program. 

"India is proud of our scientists! They've given their best and have always made India proud. These are moments to be courageous, and courageous we will be! ISRO Chairman gave updates on Chandrayaan-2. We remain hopeful and will continue working hard on our space programme," Modi wrote.

(Media covering the development with PM Modi on a screen as he watches the live broadcast of the soft landing of spacecraft Vikram Lander of Chandrayaan-2 on the surface of the moon at ISTRAC center in Bangalore on September 7, 2019. /AFP Photo)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency