As the Vikram Lander will touchdown the lunar surface during the wee hours of Saturday, ISRO will prove its mettle in the space science. All credit goes to the great minds behind the moon mission who made this possible for India to call itself as the Space technology. Here we introduce the two women scientists of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) who made India proud with their skills and efforts.
M Vanitha and Ritu Karidhal: Women behind Chandrayaan 2
Muthayya Vanitha and Ritu Karidhal are heading the crucial ISRO mission, Chandrayaan 2, making it ISRO's first-ever space mission to be headed by women. They are among the other thirty per cent women of the team working on the Chandrayaan 2 project.
Vanitha as Project Director is responsible for the success and failure of the Chandrayaan 2 project, While Ritu Karidhal, Mission Director had earlier working as Deputy Director of the Mars Mission. She is also referred to as the "Rocket Woman" of India.
Vanitha had earlier been part of Cartosat-1, Oceansat-2 and Megha-Tropiques teams. Before venturing into the moon mission, she was heading Telecomm and divisions in digital systems group in ISRO’s Satellite Centre (ISAC) or U R Rao Satellite Centre.
She had been working with ISRO for the past 32 years. In 2006, She was awarded as the best woman scientist.
She had handled India’s first interplanetary mission, Mars Orbiter Mission. The alumni of IISc, she did her post-graduation in Aerospace Engineering.
In 2007, Karidhal received an award as ISRO Young Scientist by APJ Abdul Kalam. She has been working with ISRO since 1997.
Helping hands of Vanitha and Ritu
Apart from these ladies, S Pandian as the director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, S. Rajarajan, VSSC's Jayaprakash as the head of launcher team, S Somanath who provided the GSLV MkIII launcher for the mission, P Kunhikrishnan, whose URSC holds the key to spacecraft and lander functions; and VV Srinivasan, whose tracking centre ISTRAC in Bengaluru handled vital post-launch manoeuvres of the spacecraft, have stayed in the shadows of the lunar mission.
Gaganyaan: Woman on Space
ISRO will soon launch its manned space project sending one woman astronaut, along with two others, to space under Gaganyaan Mission. VR Lalithambika to head this human space programme and working with Human Space Flight Centre, the nodal centre for Gaganyaan mission led by its director S Unnikrishnan Nair.