The historic launch of Chandrayaan 2 from Sriharikota is a proud moment for all Indians. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind – Chandrayaan 2 is an Indian Lunar mission that will enter to the south polar region of the moon where no country has ever gone before.
After a week’s delay due to a technical glitch -India’s Chandrayaan 2 is on its way to the moon.
A woman everywhere works wonders
Women are competing with men in every field.ISRO also had woman leads for small projects but never for big-budget launch like Chandrayaan 1 or Mangalyaan. About 30% of Chandrayaan 2 team comprises of women.
As India waits for the landing, let us meet Muthayya Vanitha and Ritu Karidhal – ISRO’s two women behind the launch of this 1000 crore project and salute their achievements.
Muthayya Vanitha – Project Director of Chandrayaan 2
Hailing from Chennai, Muthayya Vanitha – an electronics and communications engineer has spent 32 years at ISRO. She was initially reluctant to take over the leadership of project manager of Chandrayaan 2. She later agreed after immense motivation from M Annadurai- the project Director of Chandrayaan 1. Her role in Chandrayaan 2 is to study the design and technology to be used for the satellite.
She bagged the Best Woman Scientist Award of the Astronomical Society of India in 2006.
She also played a key role in launching the Mangalyaan in November 2013. Amidst all her recognition, Chandrayaan 2 adds another feather in her cap.
Ritu Karidhal – Mission manager of Chandrayaan 2
Born in Lucknow, an alumnus of Lucknow University and Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, Ritu started working for ISRO since 1997. She was the deputy operations director for Mangalyaan. She is fondly called as the “Rocket woman in India“.
She planned the entire mission journey including the time, route, landing etc for Chandrayaan 2.
She received the ISRO’s Young scientist award from former president Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam and ISRO Team Award for Mars Orbiter Mission.
As the nation applauded recently to Hima Das,a spirit runner for winning 5 gold medals in 19 days, now these two women are making headlines in every newspaper.
It is a source of national pride and inspiration for India to successfully launch the low-cost technology space programme has become a global headline. Finally, India is on its way to the moon!