Closing-in on Chandrayaan-2

What is more exhilarating than India’s second lunar mission? Watching it from the place of action, of course

September 21, 2019 11:26 am | Updated 11:26 am IST

Space and technology has fascinated me since childhood. To be selected by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to watch the landing of Chandrayaan-2 live was a dream come true. On September 6 evening, we departed for ISRO, Bengaluru. Everyone looked excited and were speculating about what they would get to experience there. When we reached there, we were spellbound, for it was such a grand place — everything about it was awe-inspiring.

Once we were settled, ISRO’s Chairman, K. Sivan, came to meet us, and we interacted with him. He talked about Chandrayaan-2 and future projects. It evoked a feeling of pride in all of us to know how hard our scientists work for the nation. We also interacted with other distinguished scientists. It was quite a learning experience as we gained insights into the world of space and technology.


Soon, we were seated in the Mission Complex to watch Chandrayaan-2 landing. We witnessed the Vikram Descent Trajectory on the graph that showed the flight data. The event began around 1:30 a.m. September 7. Prime Minister Narendra Modi looked intrigued even as he interacted with K. Sivan.

Phase-1 was the Rough Breaking End. Initially, everything looked absolutely fine. The scientists cheered and clapped as the landing procedure started, and the Vikram Lander entered Phase-2 of the Fine Braking Phase. However, there was some deviation when the scientists lost contact with Vikram Lander. Almost immediately, they started making calculations and analysing data.

There was some unrest before the landing. Soon, the atmosphere turned tense as everyone awaited a successful landing. Though the Vikram descent was as planned, the scientists lost all communication with it and it was a heartbreaking moment.

K. Sivan broke down as he communicated the news to Mr. Modi who consoled him. He encouraged him and the others present by saying that he was proud of their efforts, and congratulated them. He also interacted with us and answered our questions. This experience taught me that success lies in failure too, for failure does not necessarily mean a setback. We should not be afraid of failing. In fact, when we fail, we should learn enough from it and move on with stronger determination.

The writer is a student of the JEE batch at the Aakash Institute at South Extension, Delhi.

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