Perhaps the most abiding image of the recent saga of the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which came tantalisingly close to getting the Vikram spacecraft to make a soft landing on the lunar surface, was that of the Prime Minister embracing and consoling the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). That single act said eloquently what words could not have expressed adequately: that though the mission could not achieve one of its prime objectives, it had notched up a series of outstanding successes along the way for which the entire nation is proud.As the grand finale unfolded on television screens all over the country, despite the let-down at the end, a strong wave of support and sympathy was visible for the band of dedicated scientists and engineers of the space agency, who had given their all for the success of the mission. Watching the sequence of events, as a former railway professional, I could not help but reflect on the sharp contrast of the Chandrayaan-2 with another initiative, this one by the Indian Railways, which succeeded in achieving its objectives on schedule and yet, within a few months, unravelled in an unexpectedly different manner.A technological marvelA little less than a year… Read full this story
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