Unfair to describe Chandrayaan-2 as failure: Minister

Union Minister of State for Department of Space Jitendra Singh said during the question hour that the Chandrayaan mission cannot be described a failure as the lander only failed in the last 30 kilometres

Union Minister of State for Department of Space Jitendra Singh

It is unfair to describe the "Chandrayaan Mission" as a failure as technologically the launch was successful, Union Minister of State for Department of Space Jitendra Singh said in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

Replying to a supplementary question in the Upper House during Question Hour, Singh said even advanced nations like the US, which started their space mission much earlier, could gain success in soft landing only in the eighth attempt.

"Chandrayaan was a mission watched keenly by all Indians. There was some disappointment but it would be unfair to describe it as a failure... Technologically, the launch was successful. Entry into the earth's orbit was successful. Entry into the lunar orbit was successful. The orbiter is very much there... In the subsequent attempt this will cut down on the cost as well because the lander is also there," he said.

He said the Orbiter has functioned normally and only in the last about 30 kilometres "this incident took place, which I would not describe as a failure. This has made us wiser. The setback to the landing has only made India's resolve stronger."

Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, "Despite setbacks in landing we must remember that Chandrayaan had quite a successful journey until now."

Scientific objectives were accomplished including moon surface mapping, topographical studies, radar-based studies, etc, he said.

Singh pointed out that soft landing could not be a success as in scientific pursuits like this sometimes it is a matter of procedural method and processes.

He said there is not a single country that has been able to successfully accomplish soft landing in less than two attempts.

"And so much so that the United States of America which started its space journey much much before us, many years before us when we were still singing the nursery rhyme 'Chanda Mama'... Even the United States could manage soft landing only in the eighth attempt. But we have learnt from the experience of other nations," he said.

He said the data received from the Orbiter is being provided continuously to the scientific community.

In response to a query whether the launch was made to correlate with 100 days of Modi 2, Singh said the chronology and events of a launch are designed through astronomical ways.

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