After Chandrayaan-3 touched down on the Moon, the Congress on Wednesday said it is a collective success of every Indian and ISRO's achievement reflects a saga of continuity and is truly fantastic.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said an elated nation with 140 crore aspirations witnessed yet another achievement in its six-decade-long space programme and the entire world is looking up to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which is a matter of special pride for all Indians.
"We are deeply indebted to the remarkable hard work, unparalleled ingenuity and unflinching dedication of our scientists, space engineers, researchers and everyone involved in making this mission a triumph for India," Kharge said.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said, "Congratulations to Team ISRO for today's pioneering feat."
"Chandrayaan3's soft landing on the uncharted lunar South Pole is the result of decades of tremendous ingenuity and hard work by our scientific community," Gandhi said.
He said since 1962, India's space programme has continued to scale new heights and inspire generations of young dreamers.
Congress general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh said ISRO's achievement reflects a saga of continuity and is truly fantastic.
"ISRO's accomplishments have always been anchored in self-reliance. They reflect phenomenal teamwork, partnerships and enterprise. The entire world is looking up to ISRO today, acknowledging its achievements, and for us Indians, it is a matter of special pride," Ramesh said in a video message.
In February 1962, he said the farsightedness of Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai created INCOSPAR (Indian National Committee for Space Research). Incidentally, one of the first recruits to INCOSPAR was none other than Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
In August 1969, the development-oriented Vikram Sarabhai established ISRO. Between 1972 and 1984, Satish Dhawan provided extraordinary scientific, technological and managerial leadership to decisively shape the ISRO that we know today, he noted.
"Along with him, we remember Brahm Prakash, the great metallurgist who made fundamental contributions to both our nuclear and space programmes-perhaps the only scientist-engineer to have done so. After Dhawan, came a series of Chairmen including U R Rao, who made their own distinctive contributions to ISRO," Ramesh said.
Kharge said in 2008, when the Moon impact probe (MIP), the Chandrayaan-1 mission, carrying the Indian national flag landed on the Moon, "we became the 4th country to land a scientific device on the Moon's surface".
The immaculate soft-landing of Vikram lander and Pragyaan rover is a fitting tribute to Dr Homi J Bhabha, Dr Vikram Sarabhai, Dr Satish Dhawan, Dr Meghnad Saha, Dr Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and many other legendary scientists who paved the way for India's unmatchable progress in the field of space research and scientific dexterity, he noted.
"The historic Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 confirmed the presence of water molecules on the lunar surface. Chandrayaan-2 detected the presence of chromium, manganese, and sodium for the first time. Mangalyaan -- our Mars orbiter mission -- made India the first country to successfully achieve an interplanetary mission, in its maiden attempt.
"These accomplishments are a testament to the vision of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who emphasised and sincerely believed that a critical commitment to science could drive the spirit of development of our newly independent nation by igniting the spirit and minds of the people; which was later followed by successive prime ministers," the Congress president said in a video message.
The Congress party has always believed in the advancement of world peace and fellowship, and the descent of Vikram Lander on the surface of the Moon, "is a solemn affirmation of our commitment to use science for peaceful and welfare purposes," he said.
"From Aryabhatta mission to Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma's space odyssey -- where he said ‘Saare Jahan Se Achcha Hindostan Hamara’ to Chandrayaan missions, India has come a long way in space research and exploration. Jai Hind! Jai Vigyan," he said.