Rajya Sabha members on Thursday held discussions about ISRO's Chandrayaan-2 mission. When AITC member Manas Bhunia sought an explanation from the Centre in Rajya Sabha as to why the mission failed, MoS in the Department of Space, Jitendra Singh stated that "We cannot call the mission a failure." He further quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying, "Despite setbacks in landing, we must remember that Chandrayaan had quite a successful journey until now."
Speaking about the space mission, he said, "We were able to successfully accomplish the soft-landing in less than two attempts. And so by so, the USA had started its space journey much before us. Even the USA could manage its soft-landing in its 8th attempt. But, we, having learnt from the experience from the other nations, managed it in two attempts."
Singh, further detailed the components of the mission. According to him, one was the scientific component and another one was the technical one. "Scientific objectives have been fully accomplished which include moon surface mapping, topographical studies, radar-based studies, and so on. Technologically, the launch was successful, entry into the Earth's orbit was successful, then entry into the lunar orbit was successful. The orbiter has functioned normally. It was only in the about last 30 km that this incident took place which I would not describe as a failure. But this has made us wiser." Singh further quoted PM Modi and said, "The setback to the landing has only made India's resolve stronger."
The MoS further spoke about the expansion of space programs across the country. "We must realize that in the last five years, there has been a very cautious effort to expand the space programs across the country. Earlier, it was limited primarily to the southern part of India. In 2018 itself, we moved Northwards and North East." He further mentioned that "In Jammu, we have set up space research and academic centre in the premises of the central university and in Nargatla, in the premises of NIIT." Singh stated that this year, "We have set up two more centres in Jaipur and Delhi IIT.
Chandrayaan-2's rocket lifted off at the scheduled time of 2:43 PM on July 22, before beginning its long journey. The Vikram lander was scheduled to land on the Moon on the 48th day of the mission on September 7. This moon-lander and rover mission proves that India is taking lead in space exploration as its mission aimed to investigate the unexplored south pole of the Moon after completing a soft-landing. However, on September 7, the Vikram Lander which had separated from Chandrayaan-2's orbiter on September 2, while descending onto the lunar surface, lost contact with ISRO Mission Control Centre.