On Saturday, ISRO Chief Kailasavadivoo Sivan broke down in tears in front of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the space agency lost contact with its lunar rover, Vikram.
A video of Modi subsequently consoling Sivan by hugging him left several Indians teary-eyed, and elicited a strong reaction on social media.
Almost all Bollywood celebrities, sports stars, and political leaders came together in a spirit of unity and shared messages of support for the ISRO for putting “blood, sweat and tears into Chandrayaan 2”.
Bollywood Superstar Amitabh Bachchan reacted with poetic verses, quoting his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s famous lines for ISRO. He was joined by others.
T 3281 -— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) September 7, 2019
Pride never did face defeat .. our pride , our victory ..
Proud of you ISRO
तू ना थके गा कभी ,
तू ना मुड़े गा कभी , तू ना थमे गा कभी
कर शपथ कर शपथ कर शपथ
अग्निपथ अग्निपथ अग्निपथ pic.twitter.com/oEs0C70LAP
Sometimes we don’t land or arrive at the destination we want to. The important thing is we took off and had the Hope and Belief we can. Our current situation is never and not our final destination. That always comes in time and belief! Proud of #ISRO— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) September 7, 2019
Actor Akshay Kumar, who played a scientist in his recent film Mission Mangal, along with actress Tapsee Pannu shared an emotional message in an attempt to cheer the country's spirits.
There’s no science without experiment...sometimes we succeed, sometimes we learn. Salute to the brilliant minds of @isro, we are proud and confident #Chandrayaan2 will make way for #Chandrayaan3 soon. We will rise again.— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) September 7, 2019
Lump in the throat, tear in the eye not coz of anything else but witnessing how beautifully you got the entire nation together in hope and spirit... it’s ok to take a few steps back when u know you are about to make your longest jump. You are our hero @isro ❤️— taapsee pannu (@taapsee) September 7, 2019
These are only steps forward and not backward and we as a nation stand by , celebrate and are very proud of our scientists at @isro for their perseverance and achievements so far . You all are truly inspiring.— Anushka Sharma (@AnushkaSharma) September 7, 2019
The film community also heaped praise on the space agency.
When a picture is worth 1.2 billion hearts ! pic.twitter.com/00Mx6TEGC2— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) September 7, 2019
Salute and applaud the incredible endeavours of @isro !!!! So proud of everything they continue to do....so proud to be part of a nation that has the most genius minds....— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) September 7, 2019
Even though the failed moon landing was mocked by Pakistani social media users, Namira Salim, Pakistan's first female astronaut, congratulated India for its achievements in space.
“The Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission is indeed a giant leap for South Asia which not only makes the region, but the entire global space industry proud," a Pakistani science magazine quoted Salim as saying.
Space agencies across the world including the US, Australia, UAE, Russia, and Europe have applauded ISRO, recognising the fact that the mission was challenging and “space is hard”.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the US took to twitter and said, “Space is hard. We commend ISRO’s attempt to land their #Chandrayaan2 mission on the Moon’s South Pole. You have inspired us with your journey and look forward to future opportunities to explore our solar system together.”
The #UAESpaceAgency assure their full support to the @isro following the loss of contact with their spacecraft, Chandrayaan-2 which had to land on the moon. #India proved to be a strategic player in the #space sector & a partner in its development & achievements pic.twitter.com/f3j14gsMqS— وكالةالإمارات للفضاء (@uaespaceagency) September 7, 2019
Sivan announced on 8 August that the ISRO had found the location of the Vikram Lander on the moon's surface a day after losing contact. The Vikram landing module, which was part of the Chandrayaan-2 automatic station, was supposed to deliver the 12 kg Pragyan lunar rover to the Moon's surface. The device was supposed to explore the area around the Moon's South Pole.