India’s space exploration journey has been marked by significant milestones, with the Chandrayaan-3 mission poised to make history. Following the setback of Chandrayaan-2, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been relentlessly working towards achieving success with the Chandrayaan-3 mission. This article delves into the key individuals involved in the mission, their roles, and their contributions to India’s ambitious lunar exploration goals.
Dr. S. Somanath: Leading the Way as ISRO Chairman
At the helm of the Chandrayaan-3 mission is Dr. S. Somanath, the Chairman of ISRO. Dr. Somanath played a pivotal role in advancing the mission. As an aerospace engineer, he designed the Vehicle Mark 3, also known as the Bahubali rocket, which successfully propelled Chandrayaan-3 towards the moon’s orbit. Taking charge of ISRO in January last year, Dr. Somanath became a crucial figure in India’s lunar aspirations.
P. Veeramuthuvel: Project Director of Chandrayaan-3
P. Veeramuthuvel took on the responsibility of Project Director for Chandrayaan-3 in 2019. Prior to this role, he served as the Deputy Director at the Space Infrastructure Program Office in ISRO’s headquarters. Veeramuthuvel played a significant role in the second edition of India’s ambitious lunar exploration series, Chandrayaan-2. Hailing from Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, he is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M).
Dr. S. Unnikrishnan Nair: Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)
Dr. S. Unnikrishnan Nair, an aerospace engineer, leads India’s manned mission in space. He serves as the director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), where he was responsible for the development of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (GSLV Mk-III), now known as the Launch Vehicle Mark-III. As the head of VSSC, Dr. Nair and his team oversee crucial aspects of the Moon Mission, Aditya-L1 (a mission to study the sun), and Gaganyaan (India’s first manned mission).
The Women Power of Chandrayaan-3
While Chandrayaan-3 predominantly consists of male professionals, approximately 54 women engineers and scientists directly contributed to the mission. These women hold key roles as assistant project directors, and project managers, and provide support across various centers and systems within ISRO. Their expertise and dedication have been instrumental in driving the mission forward.
Chandrayaan-3: A Second Chance for Lunar Success
Chandrayaan-2 faced a setback when the lander, named Vikram, lost communication with the ISRO control room when attempting to land on the lunar surface. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, present at the ISRO control room at the time, expressed the need for a thorough understanding of the situation before proceeding to the next steps. This setback fueled the determination of ISRO’s scientists, engineers, and technicians, who worked tirelessly to rectify the issues and ensure the success of Chandrayaan-3.
The Road to Chandrayaan-3
The journey towards Chandrayaan-3 began in July 2019 when Chandrayaan-2 was launched towards the moon. Despite the challenges faced during the mission, ISRO’s resolve remained unwavering. Extensive research, tests, and simulations were conducted to understand the cause of the setback and implement corrective measures. The dedication and perseverance of the ISRO team have paved the way for the resumption of India’s lunar exploration.
Chandrayaan-3’s Landmark Objectives
Chandrayaan-3 aims to achieve several significant objectives. The foremost goal is to successfully land the lander on the lunar surface, marking India’s entry as the fourth space superpower after the United States, Russia, and China. Additionally, Chandrayaan-3’s landing on the southern pole of the moon would make India the first country to reach this region. These milestones represent the culmination of years of hard work and determination.
ISRO’s Legacy in Lunar Exploration
ISRO’s journey in lunar exploration began with Chandrayaan-1, which was successfully launched in 2008. This mission yielded valuable data and images of the moon’s surface, contributing to our understanding of its geological composition. Chandrayaan-2, although not fulfilling its ultimate goal of landing on the lunar surface, provided valuable insights and laid the groundwork for future missions like Chandrayaan-3. Each mission builds upon the knowledge gained, pushing the boundaries of India’s space exploration endeavors.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission represents India’s unwavering commitment to space exploration and its aspiration to make significant contributions to lunar science. Led by Dr. S. Somanath, with key figures like P. Veeramuthuvel and Dr. S. Unnikrishnan Nair, the mission brings together the expertise and dedication of numerous professionals at ISRO. With Chandrayaan-3, India is poised to make history once again and further establish itself as a prominent player in the realm of space exploration. The collective efforts of the team demonstrate India’s determination to push boundaries and unravel the mysteries of the moon.
- Chandrayaan-3 launched on July 14, 2023.
- The mission aims to achieve a soft landing on the moon’s surface, which was successfully achieved on August 23, 2023.
- Chandrayaan-3 carried advanced instruments to study the lunar terrain.
- The project is expected to further our understanding of the moon’s geology and potential resources.
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