Namira Salim, Pakistan's first female astronaut hailed India's lunar mission Chandrayaan 2. Salim congratulated Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) on its historic attempt at moon landing. Salim said that the lunar mission is a giant leap for South Asia and makes the entire region proud.
Namira Salim gave a statement to Karachi-based digital science magazine, Scientia and said, "I congratulate India and ISRO on its historical attempt to make a successful soft landing of the Vikram lander at the South Pole of the Moon. The Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission is indeed a giant leap for South Asia which not only makes the region but the entire global space industry proud."
She added that regional developments in the space sector are remarkable, irrespective of which country is leading the mission. "Regional developments in the space sector in South Asia are remarkable and no matter which nation leads - in space, all political boundaries dissolve and in space - what unites us, overrides, and divides us on Earth," she said.
Namira Salim is the first Pakistani to go to space abroad the Virgin Galactic. Her comments come after Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Science and Technology ridiculed India's historic feat. "Dear Endia; instead of wasting money on insane missions as of Chandrayyan or sending idiots like #abhinandan for tea to across LoC concentrate on poverty within, your approach on #Kashmir ll be another Chandrayyan just price tag ll be far bigger. (sic)"
Chaudhry received severe criticism for his comments on Chandrayaan-2. He was not only criticised by Indians but also Pakistanis.
Communication between lander Vikram and the orbiter got snapped just when it was 2.1 km away from the landing spot on the Moon's South Pole on early hours of Saturday. On Sunday ISRO announced that it has found Vikram on the lunar surface. "It had a hard-landing very close to the planned (touch-down) site as per the images sent by the on-board camera of the orbiter. The lander is there as a single piece, not broken into pieces. It's in a tilted position," an ISRO official associated with Chandrayaan 2 claimed on Monday.