Here's What India's Prime Minister Modi Told Chandrayaan-2 Scientists After Moon Landing Went Awry

The apparent loss of India's first moon lander Vikram has cast a pall on the country's Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told the nation's space agency it must forge ahead.

In a heartfelt 25-minute speech at the Indian Space Research Organisation's Control Centre in Bengalaru late Friday (Sept. 6), Modi sought to boost the morale of the Chandrayaan-2 team after its first-ever moon landing attempt on Friday ended with a mysterious loss of signal from the Vikram lander. While ISRO has not formally announced that the lander crashed into the moon, Modi's comments hinted that Vikram and its small Pragyan rover may be lost. 

"Sisters and brothers of India, resilience and tenacity are central to India's ethos. In our glorious history of thousands of years we have faced moments that may have slowed us, but they have never crushed our spirit," Modi said in his speech.  "We have bounced back again, and gone on to do spectacular things." 

Modi spoke at 10:30 p.m. EDT (0230 Sept. 7 GMT), though it was 8 a.m. local time at the ISRO center. The Vikram landing attempt occurred four hours earlier. You can see Modi's remarks to the ISRO Chandrayaan-2 moon mission team in the video transcript below. 

Video: India's Prime Minister Discusses Moon Lander's Loss
India's Chandrayaan-2 Mission to the Moon in Photos

Editor's note:  Modi's full comments are available above in a 40-minute video from ISRO. For non-Hindi speakers, Modi's English comments begin at minute 11:59. A full transcript of those English comments follows below. 

"Sisters and brothers of India, my scientists friends, for the last few hours the entire nation was awake. We were awake in solidarity. In solidarity with our scientists who had embarked on one of the most ambitious missions of our space programs. 

"We came very close, but we will need to cover more ground in the times to come. Every Indian is filled with a spirit of pride as all as confidence. We are proud of our space program and scientists, their hard work and determination. [they] ensure a better life, not only for our citizens, but also for other nations.

"It is the outcome of their innovative dream that several people have got access to a better quality of life, including better healthcare and education facilities. India is certain that there will be many more opportunities to be proud and rejoice. Thanks. 

"At the same time, we are full of confidence that when it comes to our space program, the best is yet to come."

 "There are new frontiers to discover and new places to go. We will rise to the occasion and scale newer heights of success.

"To our scientists I want to say, India is with you. You are exceptional professionals who have made an incredible contribution to national progress. You have given your best always, and will give us several more opportunities to smile. 

"True to your nature, you entered into a place where no one has ever been before. You came, as close as you could. Stay steady and look ahead. 

"I'll also tell you, the families of our space scientists. Their silent but valuable support remains a major asset. 

"Sisters and brothers of India, resilience and tenacity are central to india's ethos. In our glorious history of thousands of years we have faced moments that may have slowed us, but they have never crushed our spirit. We have bounced back again, and gone on to do spectacular things. 

"This is the reason our civilization stands tall. 

"My dear friends, as important as the final result is the journey and the effort. I can proudly say that the effort was worth it, and so was the journey. 

"Our team worked hard, traveled far and those teachings will always remain with us. We will look back at the journey and effort with great satisfaction. The learnings from today will make us stronger and better. There will be a new dawn and a brighter tomorrow very soon."

India's Chandrayaan-2 mission launched to the moon in July with three different spacecraft: the Orbiter, Vikram lander and Pragyan rover. While ISRO has lost contact with the Vikram lander and its rover, the Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter continues to function in lunar orbit. It is spend to last at least a year studying the moon from above.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.