Ground Control to Chandrayaan

To India’s space scientists today: Keep your eyes toward the heavens…

Your efforts these last eight years, culminating in a profound silence from Lunar Lander Vikram moments before touchdown, share a vast and spirited company.

Brave adventurers have gone before you and not returned. Their sacrifices line our memories. Their endeavors fire our imagination.

Your vision gives aim to our greatest aspirations.

We might admire you all the more for making first earthly contact with the moon’s south pole. We admire you enough for the noble effort to reach that distant place.

The silence resonating back from the vacuum of space today has its echo in timeless art. I wish the Vikram would ping us back — that the calls from ISRO weren’t like the plaintive calls from ‘ground control’ to Major Tom. But so be it.

Space Oddity plays like a dirge, today. It is also a reminder that to be lost in space is its own wondrous glory for having reached space at all.


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