After a 384,000 km journey, the lander Vikram which was traveling at a mighty speed of 21,600 kmph (passenger jets fly between 500 to 900 kmph) had to slow down to 7 kmph before the soft landing. At the end of such an amazing and perfectly crafted journey, at a height of mere 2 kms, all the communications with Vikram were lost.When Modi hugged Sivan, he hugged India. Last 2 km became more important than 3.84 lakh km and that had to be kept in perspective. The amazing achievements of ISRO far outweigh those 2 kms. Click To Tweet
The real story should not be how that communication broke down and what happened to it post that. But, how spectacularly the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was able to craft that long and precise journey.
As the whole nation watched, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the communication broke down. And it created a heartache that comes from missing the proverbial last mile. Suddenly, it all seemed like a failure. That is when the chips of some of the most amazing scientists on this planet were down.
In this moment of despair, the nation’s leader stood up and hugged them, talked to them and motivated them like a father. Like only a father can.
The Prime Minister represented the nation in sharing the pride that everyone has in ISRO scientists and their work.
In 2013, a major cyclone formed near Odisha coast called Phailin. With speeds reaching 160 mph, it was sure to unleash a lot of damage. Due to forewarning from SCATSAT and the necessary preparation, loss of many lives was averted.
When we look at what the ISRO scientists have given the nation, these gifts of life and safety stand out. ISRO’s space program has given India Remote Sensing Satellites like Kalpana, INSAT-3D, Cartosat, SCATSAT which are being used for the weather forecast, disaster management, urban planning etc.
Due to the research done for the space program, many innovations have been given to the nation. For example – Fabric development for soldiers serving on the Siachen glacier and Transmitter for Unmanned railway crossings which had become such a big hazard!
Some of the major milestones on this amazing journey by ISRO have been:
- 1970, Satellite launch Vehicle(SLV) project was initiated
- 1975, launch of first Indian satellite named Aryabhata
- 1992, Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) & Insat – 2A launched
- 2001, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) with GSAT-1 satellite by ISRO launched
- 2008, Chandrayaan, country’s first unmanned lunar probe was launched
- 2009, Bhuvan, a software application to Google Earth
- 2012, 100th space mission of Isro was successfully launched using PSLV-C21
- 2013, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan launched
- 2016, Record launches 20 satellites in one mission
- 2017, Record breaking 104 satellites of seven countries where launched previous record was with Russia 37 satellites in one go.
- 2018, ISRO successfully launches GSAT-29 satellite (heaviest satellite) from Sriharikota
- 2019, Chandrayaan-2 – the second lunar exploration launched which had Vikram, the lander and Pragyan, the probe.
Life is never without challenges. The mettle of men and women is in meeting those challenges. That is what ISRO scientists have always done!
When Modi hugged ISRO Chief Sivan, he hugged the nation which was down from the miss of the last 2 km journey after a 3.84 lakh km saga! We need to keep in perspective what ISRO has achieved for India. And rejoice at the selfless commitment and dedication against all odds of men and women who have had no expectations in return.
Let us remember that the amazing achievements of ISRO far outweigh those 2 kms!