A Broken Dream - Chandrayaan 2 Skip to main content

A Broken Dream - Chandrayaan 2

I remember the day when Chandrayaan 2 was set to launch. My friend had left for Sri Harikota to watch it live in front of his eyes. It was a big event. Bigger than Chandrayaan 1. I was watching it live too. But, 56 minutes before the launch, ISRO decided to postpone the mission due to some technical glitch. Chandrayaan 2 was finally launched on 22 July 2019. I watched a lot of videos and read a lot about the mission. Its history, mechanics, trajectory, almost everything I could find. It was a big event for India and certainly a big event for the world. It is not that easy to reach the moon. I mean, you can just figure it out by seeing that only three countries have been there. India could have been the fourth.





Every time something Chandrayaan 2 did, it got reflected in the foreign media. Look, India's lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 has entered Earth's orbit. Look, India's lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 has exited the orbit. Look, India's developed Chandrayaan 2 has entered the lunar orbit and many more. Chandrayaan 2 status was seen by the world. Like me, the whole country was as excited as the neighbouring countries were jealous. We all were waiting for the day when Pragyan would walk out of Vikram and will print the words ISRO and the image of the state emblem of India on the lunar soil. The day was 7th September 2019.




I am at my college's hostel room when my friend comes to my room and asks a question. It is 6 pm and I have a test tomorrow but in mind, something else is going on. The notification I received on my phone 2 hours earlier about the time of Chandrayaan 2 landing is something I am more excited about. Actually, the whole country was. I told a lot of guys and it was expected that everyone knew about that. It was a proud moment of being an Indian. I googled Chandrayaan 2 status a few times in between to get the updates. ISRO Chandrayaan 2 was quite active on the twitter regarding the mission and so was our prime minister. "Watch the live telecast of Vikram landing on the moon from 1 am onwards". Tests will be every week, this is a one-time thing I am witnessing and will stand as a witness to the generations to come.



Its 12 am. I and my roommate both have tuned to the live telecast on different links. Nothing is showing up except the message "Live telecast will start at 1 am". I left the web page as it is and started doing my own work. Finally, it was time to see some action. ISRO office is live on the internet and you can see all the scientists who have worked so hard on the mission. They are tensed. It was the result time. The same countenance as you have when the results are about to announce and you are typing the web address to see your results. ISRO Chandrayaan 2 was a dream. I keep my notebook aside as soon as I see the visuals on my screen. I hear a loud cheer from ISRO. Something happened. A breaking event on the lander. It has executed successfully. Although there are no visuals of the moon on the screen just the numbers and stats, it is still so exciting to see the country cheer up for one same thing. Everyone is awake and stuck to TV as if it is the final cricket match of India. Three cheers and three events executed successfully. The velocity has come down from around 1000m/s to 35m/s. The expected trajectory marked by red on the screen is overlapped by the current taken trajectory by the lander. Everything is going as planned. Then, suddenly, when everyone was enjoying and cheering up, the trajectory makes a sudden deflection and the communication breaks.





I did not take it as a serious problem. Communication breaks and joins all the time. In fact, none of the scientists looks tensed. But, the time passed slowly and the announcement is, "still awaiting response". A few moments later, a person from ISRO announces on the microphone, "Please Recheck Signal", to which the response is announced as "Negative Response". All the scientists are tensed and deep down praying to see a green signal on the screen. But unfortunately, the screen never lit to green. The lander never communicated again and everyone's dream has been broken. India has lost that cricket match. The whole world was watching us and looking up to us. But the scene was heartbreaking. Actually, India is not used to expecting failure. We achieve everything on the first attempt. I think the hopes were too high. The scientists' face looked just like when your does when the hard work has not paid off. ISRO chief cried on the shoulders of the prime minister. Chandrayaan 2 mission has failed after coming so close to the moon. I could recall the scene from Apollo 13 movie when Tom Hanks is so close to the moon and he hears the announcement as, "Abort Mission". He imagines himself on the moon. So did the whole country. It was heartbreaking. I waited till 3:30 for the lander to communicate. I was hoping the next second the signal would come. Or the next second. Or the next. Or the next.




I woke up to the sad news that the lander has not communicated yet. The disappointment on the faces of the scientists was something you cannot ignore. Internet is filled with consolation messages and ISRO Chandrayaan news. The whole world is applauding on the mission's success. Yes, everyone is considering it a success. But, who would know the sweet taste of success without knowing the sour taste of failure? The mission was called a success all around the world. It has succeeded but could not complete the task. At least we tried. At least we implemented. At least we did 95% right and reached travelled all the way to the moon till 2.5km were left. We tried so hard. Being an Indian mission two things are definite, we will try again like we all do in our lives and we will not lose the hope for Chandrayaan 2. I opened the Chandrayaan 2 page on Google and it says, "We will try to connect for 14 days". We all are Indians. We never lose hope even if the plan is crashing down. I walked down the stairs. This is something positive. We will succeed. I opened twitter and see a tweet by Shaadi.com which says, "You got more people united than us ISRO. Please teach us the tricks." I smiled and said in my mind, "Quite True!!".

Comments

  1. You have awesome writing skills dude. Let's talk about you writing blogs & stories for my company. As i see your words make the story alive in no time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Sudhanshu. Lets connect on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/harishkumarrajora

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Signs We Ignored

It was another weekend in Bangalore. Just like any other. I called my friend Raman. "What's the plan?" "Just came from office, have a lot of pressure these days." He sounded really tiring. But, it was a boring day for me. It was around 8 pm and I was really looking forward to a little adventure. I called him to my flat and told him that we will hang out for a while and then we'll sleep.

He agreed and came to my flat. He was very hungry. As always. I was not surprised to hear, "Let's eat something." We have been going to the street vendors and restaurants every weekend now. "Where should we go today?" I knew he would have something in mind as he has been in Bangalore for a while now. "Street food?" he asked with an expectation of a negative response from me. "Ummm! No! I am hungry too and I don't think that would be sufficient." He thought for a while. With hunger continuously obstructing his thoughts, he fina…

A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - THE LANDING || PART 10

As I mentioned earlier, I was seeing double from the first day till now. My eyes did not improve even a little for many days. Everything I used to see was double. Two doors, two mobile phones, two coffee cups everything. The doctor said my pupils are not moving synchronously as they should and hence you are seeing two images of everything. The images are seen separately by both the eyes but our brain combines it as one, while in your case it is still two images. But, you will be fine with time. With time. This is a very vague sentence. There is no specific maximum limit nor there is any medicine. You will see normally with time. Hence, I waited for "the time".

Two days after I came home after being discharged, I picked up my father's phone, opened chrome browser and typed, GB Syndrome patients case studies. I wanted to know how much time? How everyone else have managed and how much time they took. I needed to know. I needed to be prepared at least. I read three case stu…

A Letter To Your Mother

Thanks for this beautiful gift you gave this world. "Thank You", seems like a smaller word. But wait, will this gift think like you do? Or is it independent enough? You must not have thought this. Actually, I have seen enough. I have heard enough. I am tired of this. Are you a parent? Or a child? I don't really care as of now. But, you should. You should go back and think about your actions. You should think about your thinking. Are we moving towards the age of robots or you already have given birth to one? I am confused.



Everywhere I see, every time I hear, the same whining and the same useless thoughts make me think about the existence of yours in this world.  You must have thought you are a great parent, a great mom perhaps. But, does someone else thinks the same? Is she proud of you in the same way as you are proud of her? No, she will think. Yes, she will say. "Nobody thinks of me", is the perfect solution and resolution to hundreds of problems you have i…

The Divided States Of India

As I landed in the city of Bangalore, a man is shouting just outside the airport. He is shouting something that I do not understand. Fortunately, he has learned 4 5 English words. After all, he is standing outside the airport. “Where,” he asks. “Marathahalli” I spoke. “Bus 8”. He says one word and starts shouting again. He was a bus driver. But most importantly, a resident of Karnataka state in India. Yes, this place is in my country and we both cannot communicate.




Many years back when I was in the eighth standard, my textbooks proudly and boldly highlighted the words, “India is a diverse country”. They would show the culture and folk dances of each state. Unique on its own. A moment to feel proud. You can never find a country as diverse as India, as culturally rich as India. That was just the textbook. My practical started almost 2 months ago.
Soon when I reached my hotel I realized nobody in the hotel knows Hindi. Yes, Hindi. A language spoken in India. A language which is not only…

Close To The Sun

"Dude, I won the bet". "No way! I won the bet". I was dreaming about the bet I played on the gender of a child of my friend's. I definitely won that bet because I said it would be a boy. I was just arguing when the phone rang. No not in my dream but in reality. It broke my dream. It was my friend Aman Sharma calling on a Friday morning. It was his job day. I picked up the phone. "Hey! Let's go Rishikesh". "Okay," I said without inquiring how and why he made up his mind. The next thing he said, "Anurag Kashyap is in Rishikesh today, I guess". He was talking about the Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap. One of the best directors India has seen who has literally fought and changed the way Indian movies are made and should be made. The true cinema lover was in Rishikesh. So close to where I live. Aman had guessed this by seeing the post of his Assistant Director on Instagram the caption of which said, "Triveni Ghat, Rishikesh&qu…

THE MOST UNUSUAL SOLO TRIP - REACHING GANGTOK || PART 3

"Can it be fixed?" were my words as I was so doubtful about the final result. He said, "yes, yes, look what I will do, I will take this rope and tie this to this spring and remove the mudguard by hammering it. Although tyres will not be straight as the spring is broken but since there is no mudguard, what will they touch to? And the spring which was hanging, I will tie it.". This was his solution. I smiled at him and he smiled back, I knew he would do it but I was not sure about the final destination whether it will be Gangtok or some village where this car will finally breakdown.

I rushed towards the two boys who were smoking cigarette under a shed of a house about 10-15 meters away. The visibility was almost just 5-8 meters by then. I could just see the main road and the people sitting outside their house where I was standing. Another boy who was sitting beside me in the cab also asked the same question to the driver and he gave him the same answer. While I was …

A Day Before Long Nights - The Start || Part 1

I took my empty bag, I took my jacket, dressed in college uniform I started my ride. I was going to my college to give my final semester presentation for the project I had done in LTI, Mumbai. I was happy about the fact that after today, there will be no exams, no attendance and my college life would be over. I had my days planned. Since I had been on the flight from Mumbai to Delhi to come home, I had planned all my days. I wanted to learn driving at a driving school. I wanted to learn swimming. I wanted to go to the gym. I wanted to go on at least three trips in one month. I had all planned but I guess life had other plans for me.


      I gave my presentation to a four judge panel out of which three were ladies. They were chit chatting and I don't remember any of them listening to me after I told them the company and brief of the project. My presentation was over as soon as they told me "Thank You". It was a moment of epiphany. My college was over with that sentence. I …

CONUNDRUM OF DUSSEHRA

A smile on his face, tied to the ropes, 10 heads and considered one of the most intelligent man, Ravana is standing in front of me. He is about to die. He is about to be "killed" actually by a man who was exiled, saving his wife and one of the greatest leaders in mythological history who led millions to the other country for this event.
For those of you outside the boundaries of India, Dussehra is a festival celebrated in India.

Coming back, I am standing with hundreds others. They are celebrating, eating street food and enjoying with their family and friends. It has been like this for the past hundreds of years. It has been like this for the past 23 years of my life. But today, I am alone looking at him and his brothers and wondering a small thing. Why are we celebrating this festival? Every festival has a meaning, a lesson which is moral and some reason to be happy and celebrate. You must be having your own festivals with all these characteristics. But what about Dussehra…

The Untold Story Of A Few Good Men - Kheerganga || Part 1

This blog post is about a few good men I met on the way to the peak of Kheerganga and I will come later on it. Don't presume from the name Kheerganga that I am going to recite you the beauty of the nature that I saw and how white snow embellished the high peak mountains. Well, as I said in my earlier post I would like to share my experience. The natural experience is experienced by everyone. I decided to write this post because of something else to which I will come a little later. This post is about a story which resides in the humble heart of these few men whom I met in Kheerganga. My Kheerganga story perhaps.


Kheerganga is a beautiful place which is in the hilly ranges of Himachal Pradesh. I went from my hometown Haridwar to Bhuntar by boarding a normal bus. The driver was old and I thought he might take some extra time to reach the destination i.e. Bhuntar. But no!! I was wrong. The way he drove the bus on the hills is inexpressible. He was driving at a speed on which many o…
Managed and maintained by Harish Rajora