Pak's first female astronaut congratulates ISRO on Chandrayaan-2; says 'giant leap' for South Asia
Karachi: Amidst the Indo-Pak war of words over Kashmir, Pakistan's first female astronaut Namira Salim has congratulated India and ISRO for its Chandrayaan-2 mission, saying the attempt to make a landing on the Moon was itself a "giant leap" for South Asia and as well as for the entire global space industry.
The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) plan to soft-land the Chandrayaan-2's Vikram module on the lunar surface did not go as per script in the early hours of Saturday, with the lander losing communication with ground stations during its final 2.1-km descent.
Considered as the "most complex" stage of the country's second expedition to the Moon, the lander was on a powered decent for a soft landing when it lost contact.
"I congratulate India and ISRO on its historical attempt to make a successful soft landing of the Vikram lander at the South Pole of the Moon. 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," Salim said in a statement to Karachi-based magazine Scientia.
Salim is the first Pakistani to go to space aboard the Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic.
She said the regional developments in the space sector in South Asia are