At 18:04 Hrs on August 23rd, India and its elite space research agency, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) created history. The highly anticipated Chandrayaan-3 has successfully landed on the surface of the Moon. India is not only the fourth nation in the world to land on the Moon, but it is also the first to successfully make landfall on the South Pole of the Lunar surface. All thanks to ISRO and the masterminds behind the victorious mission.
August 23 will go down in history as one of the most proud days for India and the scientific community. Let’s commemorate this marvelous achievement by celebrating the scientists behind the lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3.
Related | 10 Amazing facts about Chandrayaan-3
Scientists behind the success of Chandrayaan-3
Here are all of the brilliant minds behind the success of Chandrayaan-3.
1. S. Somanath, Chairman, ISRO
- The chairman of the elite space research agency, S Somanath is an accomplished aerospace engineer.
- He has been the Chairman of ISRO since 2022.
- He played a pivotal role in crafting the design of the Launch Vehicle Mark-3, or the Bahubali rocket, which launched Chandrayaan-3 into orbit.
- Under his leadership, India became the fourth nation in the world to successfully land on the Moon’s surface.
- Somanath has a B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering from TKM College of Engineering, Kollam, and a Masters degree (M. Tech) in Aerospace Engineering from IIS (Indian Institute of Science) in Bangalore.
To learn more about the brilliant Chairman, you can read his biography here.
2. P Veeramuthuvel, Project Director
- P Veeramuthuvel was the overall Project Director of Chandraayan-3.
- He is also the Space Infrastructure Programme Officer at ISRO.
- Ever since the craft was launched on July 14, 2023, Veeramuthuvel and his team have been keeping tracks of the craft at the control center at the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network Centre (ISTRAC) to continually monitor its health and activities during its three-weeks longs journey to the moon.
- Veeramuthuvel has a degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M).
3. S Unnikrishnan Nair, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre
- Nair was also one of the major figures behind the success of Chandrayaan-3.
- He and his team at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) were in charge of building the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark-III, also known as the Launch Vehicle Mark-III, also known as the Bahubali rocket, alongside S. Somanath.
- Nair has a B.Tech. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mar Athanasius College of Engineering affiliated with Kerala University, a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering from IISc, Bengaluru, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras, Chennai.
4. B N Ramakrishna, Director, ISTRAC
- Ramakrishna is the 7th director of ISTRAC.
- ISTRAC connected to an ISRO deep space network station near Bengaluru and international earth stations for Chandrayaan-3.
- He is an expert in areas of navigation and orbit determination of spacecrafts.
- Ramakrishna has a Master’s Degree in Science.
5. S Mohana Kumar, Mission Director
- Mohana Kumar is a veteran who has been a part of ISRO for over 30 years.
- He was the Mission Director for Chandrayaan-3 and he officially announced the launch of the spacecraft from Sriharikota Space Center on July 14.
6. M Sankaran, Director, U R Rao Satellite Centre
- Sankaran is the head of the ISRO Satellite Centre, the organisation that produces spacecraft for the agency’s space missions.
- Chandrayaan-3 was developed by ISRO Satellite Centre.
- His primary job included ensuring that the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft was appropriately heat and cold tested.
- He was also responsible for testing the strength of the Vikram Lander.
- He was also involved in the construction of solar arrays, power systems and communication systems for Chandrayaan-1 and 2 and the Mars Orbiter Mission.
- Sankaran holds a Master’s Degree in Physics from Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu.
7. Kalpana K, Deputy Project Director
- She was the Deputy Project Director for the lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3.
- She is an engineer who has also worked in Chandrayaan-2 and Mangalyaan.
8. Muthayya Vanitha, Deputy Director, UR Rao Satellite Center
- Vanitha is the first female project director at ISRO and also the first woman to lead an interplanetary mission.
- She is an electronics system engineer and was the Deputy Director for the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
- She graduated from College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai.
9. Ritu Karidhal Srivastava, Senior scientist, ISRO
- Also known as the ‘Indian Rocket Woman,’ Srivastava is a senior scientist at ISRO.
- She was also the Deputy Operations Director for the 2014 Mars Orbiter Mission , popularly known as the MOM mission.
- She oversaw the lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 as well.
- Srivastava has a B. Sc. in Physics from the University of Lucknow and an M. Sc. in Physics from the University of Lucknow.
- She is also currently enrolled in a Doctorate course in the Physics Department of the University of Lucknow.
These above figures were largely responsible for etching India’s name in history books with the historical success of Chandrayaan-3. Chandrayaan-3 has landed on the South Pole of the Moon, where water molecules and ice was discovered, and will remain functional for two weeks. Carrying four pieces of scientific equipment, it will run a variety of tests to detect moonquakes, how heat moves through the lunar surface, understand the plasma environment around the moon, and to understand the gravitational interaction between the Moon and the planet.