PM Modi’s message to scientists, country’s support boosted our morale: ISRO chief K Sivan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks to Kailasavapoo Sivan, chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organization, at the Bengaluru headquarters. (PIB)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address and positive response despite the unsuccessful bid by Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram module to touch-down on the lunar surface have boosted the morale of ISRO scientists, the space agency’s Chairman K Sivan said on Sunday.

Speaking to news agency PTI, Sivan said, "We are extremely happy (with PM’s address as well as nation rallying behind ISRO). It has boosted the morale of our people."

Lauding the Prime Minister for fully backing the ISRO team, Sivan said, "We are so touched. The country has given a good, positive response. PM was incredible yesterday."

"The way he (PM) conveyed it… so passionate… so emotional and sometimes rich with meanings and positive responses. I think we could not have expected anything better. Fantastic," he added.

Hours after the ISRO s plan to soft-land Chandrayaan-2 s Vikram module on the lunar surface failed to go as per the script, Modi, in a live broadcast, told ISRO scientists that the nation was proud of them and stood with them. He said there would be a new dawn and brighter tomorrow very soon .

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Taking note of the prime minister’s remarks, former ISRO chief A S Kiran Kumar said, "We are definitely grateful to the nation and the PM."

There are hundreds and thousands of variations that were possible for the soft-landing mission, indicating the complexities, he said.

"We appreciate that the country and people were able to actually take note of this and continue to give their support. So, it’s very positive. We are grateful to the entire country," he added.

Modi also consoled an emotional Sivan outside the agency s headquarters in Bengaluru. In a video that has gone viral, the Modi is seen hugging Sivan as the latter broke down and patted him on his back.