NEW DELHI, Aug 23: The Congress on Wednesday said India’s space journey began in 1962 with the
formation of INCOSPAR which was the result of the farsightedness of Homi Bhabha and Vikram
Sarabhai, along with enthusiastic support from the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
With Chandrayaan-3 set to touch down on the lunar surface, the opposition party said former prime
minister Manmohan Singh started the Chandrayaan programme which was taken forward by the next
government. The Congress hoped for the success of the lunar mission.
The ISRO on Wednesday said it is all set to initiate the automatic landing sequence for its ambitious third
Moon mission Chandrayaan-3’s lander module to touch down on the lunar surface this evening.
In a post on X, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “India’s space journey began on February
23, 1962, with the formation of INCOSPAR (Indian National Committee for Space Research)— thanks to
the farsightedness of Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai, along with the enthusiastic support of Nehru.”
The committee comprised top scientists from premier scientific institutions across the country who
came together in a spirit of collaboration and team work, he said.
Ramesh also shared a newspaper report on the formation of INCOSPAR.
In another post, Ramesh said that on December 25 1971, 52-year-old Vikram Sarabhai died suddenly
and ISRO faced a serious crisis.
“What happened in the weeks that followed — and that gave ISRO a whole new momentum with Satish
Dhawan’s entry — is described in these excerpts from my book, ‘Intertwined Lives: P N Haksar & Indira
Gandhi’,” he said in the post, sharing screenshots of paragraphs from his book.
Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters, Congress leader Rajeev Shukla said the
Chandrayaan programme was started under the Manmohan Singh dispensation and the next
government took it forward.
“This is the effort of scientists and we want it to be successful,” he added.
Responding to a question on BJP claiming credit for Chandrayaan, Shukla said there was an India before
2014 as well and there were contributions from all prime ministers.
The BJP people do not even acknowledge the contribution of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he alleged.
“So there are efforts by all governments. We hope for the mission is successful,” he said. (PTI)