New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday, once again expressed his, and the nation’s pride, for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), a day after the Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission ended in heartbreak for the space agency and the entire nation.

Replying to several sportspersons and celebrities, the Prime Minister tweeted, “1.3 billion Indians are with ISRO. They make us proud with their resilience and spirit of exploration.”

In reply to former tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi, he tweeted, “For champions like ISRO and our sportspersons, there is no such thing as failure. There is only learning.”

 

Earlier on Saturday, ISRO lost contact with Vikram, Chandrayaan-2’s lander, when it was just 2.1 km away from landing on the surface of the Moon. The landing, if successful, would have made India only the fourth country in the world to land a rover on the lunar surface.

Soon after it was announced that the contact with Vikram was lost, Prime Minister Modi, who was at the ISRO Centre in Bengaluru to watch the landing, had tweeted, “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.”

Later, he addressed the nation from the ISRO Centre, calling its scientists an inspiration to the entire country. While leaving, he also hugged a clearly-devastated ISRO chief K Sivan, who broke down while being embraced by the Prime Minister.

Chandrayaan-2, for which ISRO received plaudits from across the world, was India’s second lunar mission after 2008’s Chandrayaan-1. It was launched on July 22, a week after its scheduled launch was called off due to technical reasons.