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India created history after its moon mission Chandrayaan 3 successfully landed on the lunar surface on August 23. Chandrayaan 3’s lander Vikram, which also carried a rover named Pragyaan with it, made a soft landing near the south pole region of the Moon. The soft landing on the lunar surface was a remarkable feat as India joined the select club of four nations to have landed on the Moon. Before India, only the USSR (now Russia), the USA, and China had soft-landed on the Moon.
The mission involved years of hard work by thousands of scientists, engineers, and technicians who worked tirelessly day and night to make Chandrayaan 3 a success. While everyone associated with the mission is a hero, some of the key figures who led the mission include Project Director P Veeramuthuvel, VSSC Director S Unnikrishnan Nair, URSC Director M Sankaran, M Srikanth, and senior scientist Kalpana Kalahasti.
P Veeramuthuvel, Project Director, Chandrayaan 3: Born in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu, Veeramuthuvel became Chandrayaan-3’s director in 2019. Before joining ISRO as deputy director at ISRO’s Space Infrastructure Programme Office, he was associated with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
S Unnikrishnan Nair, (VSSC) Director, Chandrayaan-3: A product of IISc Bengaluru, Nair is the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). He specializes in the field of launch vehicle design. His role was instrumental in Chandrayaan 3’s successful launch.
Kalpana K, Deputy Project Director, Chandrayaan-3: Kalpana is an engineer. She is known for her pivotal role in India’s satellite endeavors. She played a crucial role in the Chandrayaan 3 mission. She was the deputy project director of the Chandrayaan 3 mission.
Nilesh M Desai: The Director of the Space Application Center (SAC), Desai played a pivotal role in the success of Chandrayaan 3. Born on April 1, 1964 in Navsari, Gujarat, Desai helped in creating the design of the Chandrayaan 3 orbiter. He had also designed the orbiter of Chandrayaan 2.
S Somanath: An Indian aerospace engineer and rocket scientist, Somanath is the current chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).