Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft was launched on July 22 from Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota.

New Delhi: 

Chandrayaan 2 mission is a “huge step forward for India” and it will continue to produce valuable data to fuel scientific advancements, the United States said today, a day after India’s second moon mission hit a snag during a historic landing attempt.

“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,” Alice G Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia said in a late-night tweet.

“We have no doubt that India will achieve its space aspirations,” the US diplomat added.

In its post, the State Department also quoted a tweet from US space agency NASA, which tagged the Indian Space Research Organisation and congratulated India for the moon landing attempt. 

“Space is hard. We commend @ISRO’s attempt to land their #Chandrayaan2 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 (sic),” NASA had tweeted.

The State Department’s post has been retweeted by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

On Saturday, India would have become the fourth country – after Russia, US and China – to soft land on moon. However, minutes before the Chandrayaan 2 lander Vikram was expected to touch down on the lunar surface, ISRO lost communication with the lander.

Scientists at the space agency have not given up hope on establishing contact with the lander yet, ISRO chief K Sivan said on Saturday, adding that efforts will continue for the next 14 days.

He blamed faulty execution in the last stage of the operation for the loss of communication. “The last part of the operation was not executed in the right manner. It was in that phase that we lost link with the lander, and could not establish contact subsequently,” he told national broacaster Doordarshan in an interview.

India’s determination to touch the moon has become even stronger and the best is yet to come, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday as he addressed scientists at the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru on Saturday. “We came very close, but we need to cover more ground…. Learnings from today will make us stronger and better,” PM Modi said.

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