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Women make up 30% of Chandrayaan-2 workforce, two lead the mission

Muthayya Vanitha will be the first women project director of Isro; Ritu Karidhal, mission director, holds a Master's in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru

T E Narasimhan 

GSLVMk, chandrayaan 2, isro
GSLVMk III carrying Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft, undergoing launch checks at launch pad in Sriharikota. Launch is scheduled at 2:51 am on July 15.

Among the many firsts for the Chandrayaan 2, this mission would be the first for the space agency to have two women leading it as project and mission directors, with two decades of experience in

Besides, nearly 30 per cent of the members working on the mission are women, said K.Sivan, chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Muthayya Vanitha, who will be the first women project director of Isro, is an electronics systems engineer and she has the responsibility of mission. Earlier she was responsible for data handling systems for India’s remote sensing satellites was reluctant to accept the historical responsibility.

M Annadurai, the project director for Chandrayaan-1 and who reportedly persued Vanitha, was quoted saying she has excellent problem-solving skills and team management capabilities, which are crucial for such projects.

Ritu Karidhal, mission director, holds a Master’s degree holder in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. Karidhal she started her career in 1997 as an aerospace engineer at She was the Deputy Operations Director for the Mars mission. In her role, she conceptualised and ensured the execution of the spacecraft’s onward autonomy system, an onboard system-level capability to make mission-relevant decisions without ground support.

First Published: Sat, July 13 2019. 16:54 IST
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