04:51 GMT05 April 2020
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    India's Chandrayaan-2 mission to land a robotic spacecraft on the lunar surface appeared to have ended in failure after the signal from the Vikram lander was lost earlier on Saturday.

    In a series of tweets on Saturday, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry mocked India’s botched lunar mission, dubbing the Indian spaceship a “toy”.

    “Please sleep. The toy landed in Mumbai instead of landing on the moon,” Chaudhry said in one of his online remarks.

    In another tweet, he said that instead of wasting money on the moon mission, New Delhi should focus on tackling poverty.

    “Modi is giving a speech on satellite communication as though he was actually an astronaut, not a politician,” Chaudhry said in another tweet, referring to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    Chaudhry was echoed by Pakistani netizens who also mocked the failed Indian mission.

    Apparent Failure of India’s Moon Mission

    Chaundhry’s remarks came after Dr Kailasavadivoo Chivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, said that the country’s space agency had lost communication with the Chandrayaan-2 mission’s Vikram lander near the lunar surface, just before the spacecraft's scheduled touchdown.

    Modi, who was recently in Russia for the Eastern Economic Forum summit and the India-Russia Annual Summit, went to Bengaluru to watch the landing from the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network.

    After the failed landing, he took to Twitter to say that the scientists had “given their best and have always made India proud."

    "We remain hopeful and will continue working hard on our space programme,” Modi added.

    NASA has reported that the success ratio of lunar missions over the past six decades stands at 60 percent. According to NASA’s “Moon Fact Sheet”, of the 109 lunar missions during the period, 61 were successful and 48 failed.

    India-Pakistan Tensions

    Tensions between India and Pakistan have deteriorated since New Delhi revoked the special constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir.

    Kashmir has been a bone of contention between the two countries since they gained freedom from British colonial rule in 1947. Both govern it in part but claim it in full.


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