Words of praise and encouragement poured in for ISRO from leaders across the political spectrum as they asked it not to be disheartened following the Chandrayaan-2 setback, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing confidence that a "new dawn and better tomorrow" awaits the space organisation.
President Ram Nath Kovind said the country is proud of ISRO which, he added, has shown exemplary commitment and courage.
While Modi, who had flown to Bengaluru to watch the planned touchdown of lander Vikram, addressed scientists for nearly 25 minutes as he sought to lift their morale with a message of optimism, solidarity and hope, other leaders, including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, too joined the prime minister in lauding them.
Hailing the team of scientists and researchers at the ISRO, Gandhi said the mission has laid the foundation for achieving greater feats and the entire country awaits in anticipation for traversing the next frontier of space. "We owe a great debt to ISRO and the brilliant men and women who staff it. Their hard work and dedication has earned India a place in the league of space-faring nations and have inspired generations to reach for the stars," she said.
It is a testament to their remarkable ability, goodwill and unique place in the heart of every Indian, that the nation followed Chandrayaan-2's journey at every step, no matter the hour, the Congress chief said. "No success is final and every obstacle is a stepping stone to future success. Chandrayaan-2 has laid the foundation for achieving greater feats and the entire country awaits in anticipation for traversing the next frontier of space," she said in a statement.
Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah said ISRO's achievement in getting Chandrayaan-2 so far has made every Indian proud and the country stands with its committed and hard working scientists.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh quoted a line of a Hindi poetry to state that "those who try never lose".
ISRO's mission to reach the moon is bound to succeed, he said, adding that the courage and commitment of scientists will ultimately make it successful.
In a gesture that in many ways defined the mood of the moment, Modi hugged an emotional K Sivan, the ISRO chief, and was seen consoling him during their meeting in the morning after it became clear that the mission had suffered a setback.
ISRO's plan to soft land 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 descent.
Modi said he is with ISRO and so is the nation. "We came very close but we need to cover more ground in the times to come. Learning from today will make us stronger and better. The nation is proud of our space programme and scientists. The best is yet to come in our space programme. There are new frontiers to discover and new places to go. India is with you," he said.
"Effort was worth it and so was the journey. It will make us stronger and better. There will be a new dawn and better tomorrow... I am with you, nation is with you," the prime minister said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi lauded ISRO scientists for their "incredible work" and said they have laid foundation for more path breaking and ambitious space missions in future.
"Your passion & dedication is an inspiration to every Indian. Your work is not in vain. It has laid the foundation for many more path breaking & ambitious Indian space missions," Gandhi tweeted.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged scientists not to lose heart."We are proud of our scientists. They have created history. No need to lose heart. Our scientists have done a great job. Jai Hind!" he said.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar praised ISRO's work as inspiring and said Modi had spoken for all of them. "Confident you will succeed," he said.
CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury expressed confidence that the next steps will be "more satisfying".
"The history of our scientific milestones has shown us how the fight and struggle has been continuous. Bravo that ISRO and our scientists got us so far," he tweeted. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the entire nation is proud of the scientists. "We're immensely proud of our scientists. They've been a source of perennial inspiration for all of us with their vision, commitment & tenacity," the UP CM's Office tweeted.
"ISRO Chairman has given updates on Chandrayaan-2. I am certain we shall continue to do well in our space program," it added.