"We should not be too discouraged. India was trying to do something very, very difficult. In fact, everything was going as planned as the lander came down," Jerry Linenger, a former told PTI in an email interview. He also added that the overall the ISRO mission has been "very successful."
Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) plan to soft land Vikram near the Moon's South Pole failed in the early hours of Saturday, with the lander losing communication with ground stations during its final descent.
Congratulating the ISRO for attempting the "difficult" lunar soft landing, Linengar said that he looked forward to watching complete success in the future based upon lessons learned from this bold attempt.
Linengar, who flew on Russian space station Mir that operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001 for five months, took part in the live telecast of Chandrayaan-2 landing attempt on the National Geographic Channel.
"...if it had made it to that point, and even if it had not succeeded beyond that, it would have been helpful because the radar altimeters and lasers could have been tested. But if you step back and look at the big picture, this (attempt) would obviously be very helpful for follow on missions," he said.
"In fact, the orbiter will continue to downlink very valuable information for the next year. And by all indications, all systems are good on the orbiter," he said.