‘Nail-biting’, scientist recalls Chandrayaan-1 launch moment

Bengaluru: As ISRO waits with bated breath for the soft-landing of Chandrayaan-2’s ‘Vikram’ module on the Moon in the dark hours of Saturday, a top space scientist recalled his ‘nail-biting moment’ experience during the launch of India’s first lunar mission more than a decade ago.

On the day of the Chandrayaan-1’s launch in 2008, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) faced a ‘very tough situation’ as it had a very short launch window and the weather was ‘very, very bad’, M Annadurai, the Project Director of the successful mission, said.

“We were running against time, that was the last date to take off, we had some technical issues to set right and weather was very, very bad at Sriharikota spaceport. Everybody was anxious, luckily for half-an hour, weather cleared but after that there were thunder-storms; launch time was a real nail-biting moment,” Annadurai, also the Programme
Director of ‘Mangalyaan’, the Mars Orbiter Mission, launched in 2013, told PTI today.

Now Chairman of the National Design and Research Forum, he termed the present Chandrayaan-2 mission, which seeks to make soft-landing of Vikram on the unexplored Lunar south pole, as another milestone in India’s space journey. “…whatever we started is getting carried forward, another milestone for Indian space journey, we are not falling behind, we are taking lead and going ahead in the international arena. That way, it’s a satisfying moment,” Annadurai said.