Will explore our solar system together: NASA to ISRO after Chandrayaan-2 mission

Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with ISRO Chairman Kailasavapoo Sivan after connection with the Vikram lander was lost during the soft landing of Chandrayaan 2 on the lunar surface. (PTI)

After India’s unsuccessful attempt to soft-land the ‘Vikram’ lander on the surface of the moon, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) commended the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for its efforts.

Stating that "space is hard", NASA said that it looks forward to future opportunities to explore the solar system with ISRO. "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."

The praise comes a day after former NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger said the lessons learnt from India’s "bold attempt" to soft-land the ‘Vikram’ module will help the country in its future missions.

Meanwhile, the UAE Space Agency also assured ISRO of its support following the loss of contact with their spacecraft. In a tweet the agency said, "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."

‘Vikram’ with rover ‘Pragyaan’ housed inside is scheduled for a powered-descent between 1 am and 2 am on September 7, followed by its touchdown between 1.30 am and 2.30 am. (File Photo: ISRO)

ISRO issued a statement Saturday to emphasise that the Chandrayaan-2 mission was still on and had a lot of science left in it despite the setback. In an interview to Doordarshan, ISRO chairman K Sivan had said attempts to re-establish contact with the lost lander would continue for the next two weeks.

Chandrayaan-2, a follow-on mission, involved meticulous planning with hundreds of top scientists working on it. Approved in 2008, it is a Rs 978-crore initiative (satellite cost Rs 603 crore, GSLV MK III cost Rs 375 crore) and a successor to Chandrayaan-1 mission, it comprised an orbiter, lander and rover. The orbiter carries eight scientific payloads for mapping the lunar surface and study the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the moon.