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Unsung heroes of Chandrayaan-3: Meet the people behind India's moon mission

The unsung heroes of Chandrayaan-3 will soon mark India's footprints on the moon's surface. Here is the list of people who will make the Chandrayaan-3 mission possible

Isro's Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM3) M4 rocket carrying 'Chandrayaan-3' lifts off from the launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, in Sriharikota, Friday. Photo: PTI

Isro's Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM3) M4 rocket carrying 'Chandrayaan-3' lifts off from the launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, in Sriharikota, Friday. Photo: PTI

Sudeep Singh Rawat New Delhi

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Chandrayaan-3 has been the talk of the town for the past one and half months ever since it took off from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre Second Launch Pad in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The craft is on the verge of creating history today by landing on the southern pole of the moon today, August 23, 2023.

The spacecraft has completed all orbit and deboosting manoeuvres, and currently, it's identifying the location for a soft landing.

Everyone is talking about the mission, but no one is talking about the people who made all this happen. Here is a list of people behind this accomplishment.

Unsung heroes of Chandrayaan-3

Here are the unsung heroes of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, whose dedication and hard work gave India a moment to be proud. 

S Somanath, Isro Chairman

One of the most prominent people behind the Chandrayaan -3 mission, he assumed the leadership of Isro last year, and since then, he gave his all to the mission. Along with Chandrayaan-3, he has been given credit for fast-tracking Isro's other missions as well, including Gaganyaan (India's first crewed mission) and Aditya-L1 (India's mission to study the sun).

Before taking over Isro's chairmanship, S Somnath was working as the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and also at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, both centres developing rocket technologies for the space agency. 

P Veeramuthuvel, Project Director of Chandrayaan-3

P Veeramuthuvel, the project director of Chandrayaan-3 took charge in 2019. He is known for his technical knowledge and he even played a critical role in the Chandrayaan-2 mission as well. 

P Veeamuthuvel hails from Villupuram in Tamil Nadu and he is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras (IIT-M). He has been working very hard on the Chandrayaan-3 mission for the past 4 years.

S Unnikrishnan Nair, Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre

S Unnikrishnan Nair and his team at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) take care of important aspects of the Indian biggest space mission, Chandrayaan-3. His team in VSSC has developed the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark-III, which is now named Launch Vehicle Mark-III.

Dr Unnikrishnan is an aerospace engineer by profession and an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Science. He loves writing short stories.

M Sankaran, Director of U R Rao Satellite Centre

M Sankaran is a director of U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) who took charge in June 2021. His team in URSC is responsible for designing and constructing India's satellites for Isro. 

Under the leadership of M Sankaran, the URSC team develops satellites that meet the requirements of Isro, including communication, weather forecasting, remote sensing, navigation, and planetary exploration.

Mohana Kumar, Mission director

S Mohanna Kumar is a mission director for LVM3-M4/Chandrayaan-3, and he is a senior scientist at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. S Mohanna was earlier the director for the commercial launch of the One Web India 2 satellites on board the LVM3-M3 mission.

S Mohanna Kumar said, "The LVM3-M4 has once again proved to be the most reliable heavy lift vehicle for Isro. Congratulations to the teamwork of the Isro family."

Mohanna also mentioned that his team is also working hard and ensuring more safety and reliability of the LVM so that we can do more frequent launches.

A Rajarajan, Chief of Launch Authorisation Board

A Rajarajan is the director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), which is located in Sriharikota, a principal spaceport of India. Being the director of SDSC SHAR, he was responsible for the fruition of solid motor production and infrastructure of the launch complex to meet the demand of Isro launches and the launches for the Human Space Programme (Gaganyaan) and SSLV. 

"Once again the fat boy has done its job and put in orbit precisely the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft. I congratulate all teams for the perfect launch," A Rajarajan said.

These are just a few names, the credit of Chandrayaan-3 goes to all the Isro scientists, engineers, technicians and other people who made India proud. These Unsung Heroes of Chandrayaan-3 will help India mark its footprints on the moon's surface.

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First Published: Aug 23 2023 | 1:03 PM IST

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