Chandrayaan-3: Meet the people behind India's historic moon mission - Hindustan Times
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Chandrayaan-3: Meet the people behind India's historic moon mission

By | Edited by Aryan Prakash
Aug 21, 2023 03:01 PM IST

Chandrayaan-3 is currently aiming to find the perfect spot for a soft landing on the Moon's challenging terrain.

India and the world await a historic landing on the southern pole of the Moon as the countdown for the same by Chandrayaan-3 mission begins. The spacecraft has completed all orbit and deboosting maneuvers. It's now aiming to find the perfect spot for a soft landing on the Moon's challenging terrain.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somanath with others holds miniature model of rocket LVM3-M2 during a press conference after ISRO launched 36 communication satellites in its heaviest rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC)-SHAR, in Sriharikota.(ANI)
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somanath with others holds miniature model of rocket LVM3-M2 during a press conference after ISRO launched 36 communication satellites in its heaviest rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC)-SHAR, in Sriharikota.(ANI)

The Lander Module, consisting of the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, separated from the Propulsion Module last Thursday. The module also captured and sent back images of the Moon's surface on Monday. These images, taken by a camera developed by the Space Application Centre (SAC) under the guidance of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), will help locate a safe landing area on the Moon without boulders or deep trenches.

Are you curious to learn about few of the key individuals behind India's largest-ever space mission? It's the ISRO chairman S Somanath and his team, including the Chandrayaan-3 project director and the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) director.

ISRO chairman S Somnath

S Somanath, who took charge of the Indian space agency in January last year is considered one of the key persons behind India’s ambitious moon mission. Somanath served as the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre — the primary centres for development of rocket technologies for ISRO. Along with the ongoing Chandrayaan-3, other major missions like Aditya-L1 to Sun and Gaganyaan (India's first manned mission) are under his supervision.

P Veeramuthuvel, Project Director, Chandrayaan-3

P Veeramuthuvel became the director of the Chandrayaan-3 project in 2019, before which he worked as a deputy director at the Space Infrastructure Programme Office at ISRO's main office. He also played an important role his in the Chandrayaan-2 mission, India's second edition of the ambitious moon-mission series. Veeramuthuvel is from from Villupuram in Tamil Nadu and an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M).

S Unnikrishnan Nair, Director Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark –III, which was renamed as Launch Vehicle Mark-III, rocket, was developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thumba in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram. Being the head of VSSC, S Unnikrishnan Nair and his team are in charge of various key functions of the crucial mission.

M Sankaran, Director U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC)

M Sankaran is Director at the U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) and assumed the role in June, 2021. This center is responsible for creating and building all of India's satellites for ISRO. Right now, he is guiding the team that makes satellites to meet the country's needs in communication, navigation, remote sensing, weather forecasting, and even exploring other planets.

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