We almost lost hopes after working against all odds: Nair

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Sriharikota, Oct 22 (UNI) ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair today said he and his team had been keeping their fingers crossed about the launch of Chandrayaan-I by PSLV C-11, India's maiden exploratory mission to moon before they clinched it as scheduled at 0622 hours with the weather falicitating.

Addressing a press conference after the successful launch, he said the ISRO team, which had been working for the launch of the prestigious mission against all odds, decided to go ahead with it only past 0130 hours this morning.

Mr Nair said ten hours of countdown was lost yesterday. ''We almost lost all hopes for today's launch. But thanks to the dedicated effort of ISRO scientists and to the rain Gods, there was no lightning activity as feared.

We decided to go ahead with the launch after getting the final clearance from the launch control centre.

''The mission was initially planned for September launch. As some tests had to be carried out and the data analysed, it had taken more time. It came to October. We have made launches in October, normally the monsoon season, till October 21. With that confidence, we took up the mission'', an elated Mr Nair said.

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