File photo: PM Narendra Modi. Photograph:( ANI )
His address to the nation from ISRO control centre came after he had early Saturday witnessed the descent of Vikram module of Chandrayaan II mission which lost communication with ground stations at an altitude of 2.1 metres from the moon
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, known for keeping a brisk pace of work, on Saturday delivered a speech at the ISRO Space Centre in the morning and addressed gatherings at Mumbai and Aurangabad, all within a gap of eight hours.
His address to the nation from ISRO control centre came after he had early Saturday witnessed the descent of Vikram module of Chandrayaan II mission which lost communication with ground stations at an altitude of 2.1 metres from the moon.
Modi returned to Delhi early on Friday after a three-day visit to Russia which was packed with engagements. He had a summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and took part in Eastern Economic Forum meeting in Vladivostok. He also had bilateral meetings with leaders of Japan, Malaysia, and Mongolia on the sidelines of the forum meeting.
He flew to Bengaluru on Friday evening to witness the descent of Chandrayan-2 mission. After his morning speech at ISRO control centre, Prime Minister reached Mumbai to lay the foundation stone of metro lines and launch other projects.
He later addressed a `mahila sammelan` in Aurangabad. BJP leaders say the Prime Minister has not had a single day of rest in the past over five years.
"It`s so simple. He lands Delhi at 4 am after 5000km journey, had a busy schedule whole day, including a video address, reached Bangalore, remained awake till 3 am, again reached ISRO at 8 am and left for Mumbai and Aurangabad to push his development agenda," party leader Vijay Chauthaiwale tweeted.
Sources also said that Modi never thought for a moment to avoid personally witnessing ISRO`s plan to soft-land Chandrayaan-2`s Vikram module on the lunar surface even though the success rate of soft landing missions is less than 40 per cent.
"The fact that the Prime Minister should avoid Bengaluru because the moon landing might not have been a complete success was not a consideration even for a moment," sources said on Saturday.
PM Modi watched the proceedings early Saturday as the lander began its descent towards the moon. The descent was perfect till an altitude of 2.1 km when communication from lander `Vikram` was lost to ground stations.
In his address to the nation from ISRO Control Centre on Saturday morning, Modi lauded their efforts towards Chandrayaan 2, India`s second moon mission and its first attempt at soft-landing on the surface of the moon.
He asserted that there will be "new dawn".
"India is proud of our scientists! They`ve given their best and have always made India proud. These are moments to be courageous, and courageous we will be," he said.