Reaching For The Stars – Ananya Yadav

The word ‘fall’ can be interpreted in so many ways.  According to the Cambridge dictionary fall is defined as ‘to suddenly go down onto the ground or towards the ground without intending to or by accident’.

Contextually, the action of falling can be interpreted in different ways as is the feeling associated with the act of falling.

For Americans and Canadians, fall is another term for the Autumn season.

For a mountaineer, it could be the multiple times one slips and falls while attempting to scale a mountain.

For an athlete, it could mean losing a race by a millisecond.

For a teenager, it could be the experience of falling in love for the first time.

For a businessman, it could mean a fall in his stock price.

For children, it could be falling while learning how to ride a bicycle.

For a scientist, it could be failing in a mission in the last few kilometers of its landing.

Chandrayaan-2 is the second lunar exploration mission developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), after Chandrayaan-1. It consists of a lunar orbiter, the Vikram lander, and the Pragyan lunar rover. The main scientific objective was to map and study the variations in the lunar surface composition, as well as the location and abundance of lunar water. Vikram and the rover were scheduled to land on the in the south polar region of the moon at approximately 1:50 am on 7 September 2019 and conduct scientific experiments for one lunar day. However, the lander deviated from its intended trajectory starting at 2.1 kilometers and had lost communication when touchdown confirmation was expected. Initial reports suggested a crash because a “hard landing”. Even after locating Vikram Lander, contact with it remains elusive.

Having sacrificed years of family time, to make this project a success, one cannot even begin to try and feel what the team of scientists involved with the mission, day in and day out, must be going through. To try and empathize with them is next to impossible. The tears in their eyes said it all.

But in spite of all that has been said, did they lose hope? No! Have they given up on what they set out to achieve? No! They are all set to work on what went wrong. They are confident that they will re-establish contact with Vikram Lander.

Falling from what was targeted, as the attainable, is a learning experience and one should enjoy the process.

As much as it hurts, falling is important as rising. The experience of falling creates an awareness of how things are and how things should be, and what one needs to do to do to achieve what one aimed to achieve.  It’s through failure that we learn the greatest lessons that life could teach us.

Without the experience of falling, we’d be less capable of compassion, empathy, kindness, an innate drive to try again, and subsequent to that, a sense of achievement; we would be less likely to reach for the Sun – or in this case, the Moon.

-By Ananya Yadav, Amity International School, Noida

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