Over the past couple of days, we have written a lot about how India’s Moon Mission gained traction from all across the globe, but little do we know about the most important figures behind the success story of Chandrayaan-3. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key individuals who have worked day and night to make this day possible.
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S. Somanath, ISRO Chairman
Assuming leadership at ISRO in January of the previous year, S. Somanath has emerged as a central figure in India’s ambitious lunar exploration. Prior to this esteemed role, he held directorial positions at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, both pivotal in crafting rocket technologies for ISRO. Under his astute guidance, he is overseeing key projects including Chandrayaan-3, Aditya-L1 (a solar research mission), and Gaganyaan (India’s inaugural manned space mission).
M Sankaran, Director U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC)
In June 2021, M. Sankaran took on the position of Director at the U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), an institution entrusted with the design and construction of India’s entire satellite fleet for ISRO. At present, Sankaran guides the proficient team tasked with creating satellites tailored to India’s multifaceted requirements encompassing communication, navigation, remote sensing, weather prediction, and planetary exploration.
S Unnikrishnan Nair, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre
Situated in Thumba, Kerala, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) played a pivotal role in the evolution of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark-III, rechristened as the Launch Vehicle Mark-III. Spearheading the VSSC, S. Unnikrishnan Nair and his accomplished team are taking care of critical parts of this mission.
P Veeramuthuvel, Project Director of Chandrayaan-3
Assuming the mantle of Project Director for Chandrayaan-3 in 2019, P. Veeramuthuvel’s journey has been marked by stellar achievements. Prior to this, he served as Deputy Director at the Space Infrastructure Programme Office housed within ISRO’s central headquarters. His pivotal role in steering the Chandrayaan-2 mission, the second chapter in India’s illustrious lunar exploration saga, underscores his expertise. Hailing from Villupuram in Tamil Nadu, he proudly stands as an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M).