Chandrayaan-3 has captured everyone's attention since yesterday, and the pride we feel is beyond measure.

Countless ISRO scientists have tirelessly contributed behind the scenes to make this moon landing a reality, marking India as the first country to achieve a lunar south pole spacecraft landing. Here are some of the notable scientists who played a significant role in the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission.

ISRO Chairman, S Somanath

The ISRO Chairman is a pivotal figure in India's ambitious moon mission. He's renowned as an Indian aerospace engineer and rocket scientist, having taken up the role of ISRO chief on January 14, 2022. He previously served as the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, both key centers responsible for ISRO's rocket technology development.

Somanath overseas missions like Chandrayaan-3, Aditya-L1 (for studying the Sun), and Gaganyaan (India's first manned mission). His expertise lies in launch vehicle system engineering, and he has significantly contributed to PSLV and GSLV MkIII projects, including architecture, propulsion stage design, structural dynamics, separation systems, vehicle integration, and integration procedures development.

Chandrayaan-3 Project Director, P Veeramuthuvel

The Project Director of Chandrayaan-3 roped into the role in 2019. Hailing from a modest background in Tamil Nadu's Villupuram district. Veeramuthuvel, holding a Ph.D., is an esteemed graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He succeeded Vanitha, who led the Chandrayaan-2 mission as its project director under the guidance of former ISRO Chief K Sivan. Before this, Veeramuthuvel served as the Deputy Director at ISRO's main office in the Space Infrastructure Programme Office.

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

S Unnikrishnan Nair holds the position of Director at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and played a key role in the development of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark-III, which is now recognised as Launch Vehicle Mark-III. In his capacity as the head of VSSC, S Unnikrishnan Nair leads his team in supervising critical elements of this crucial mission.

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

M Sankaran took on the position of Director at U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in 2021. In this role, Sankaran leads a team dedicated to creating satellites that cater to India's varied requirements, encompassing communication, navigation, remote sensing, weather prediction, and planetary exploration. URSC is responsible for the design and fabrication of all of India's satellites for ISRO.

Mohana Kumar - Mission Director

A seasoned scientist at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, assumes the role of Mission Director. With a graduation from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Mr. Kumar's academic prowess is noteworthy. His outstanding contributions to Space Science and Technology have earned him the prestigious Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Award.

Ritu Srivastava - Senior Scientist ISRO

The Senior Scientist at ISRO is a native of Lucknow and is now referred to as the "rocket woman" of India. She joined ISRO in 1997 and has been an integral part of numerous notable missions. Notably, in 2013, she served as the Deputy Operations Director for the Mangalyaan mission and held the role of Mission Director for Chandrayaan-2. Her contributions extend to more than 20 published works in domestic and international journals.

A. Rajarajan - Director Satish Dhawan Space Centre

A. Rajarajan serves as the Director of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC SHAR) in Sriharikota. As a scientist, he specializes in composites. His responsibilities include overseeing the development of solid motor production and launch complex infrastructure to cater to ISRO's growing launch requirements, including those related to the Human Space Programme (Gaganyaan) and Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

Kalpana K, Deputy Project Director, Chandrayaan-3

The Deputy Project Director of Chandrayaan-3 demonstrated remarkable determination in leading the project despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. A dedicated engineer contributing to India's satellite achievements, she played crucial roles in both the Chandrayaan-2 and Mangalyaan missions.

M Vanitha, (URSC) Deputy Director, Chandrayaan-3

The Deputy Director at URSC and part of the Chandrayaan-3 team demonstrated resolute determination in leading the project despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. An accomplished electronics system engineer, she's a driving force behind India's satellite achievements. Her pivotal roles in the Chandrayaan-2 and Mangalyaan missions showcase her expertise and contributions to ISRO's endeavours.

As per TOI reports, approximately 54 female engineers and scientists actively participated in the Chandrayaan-3 mission. An ISRO official revealed that these women hold roles as associate and deputy project directors, as well as project managers for various systems within the mission. Their contributions highlight their crucial involvement in this significant endeavour.

Source: Indian Express, News 18, TOI, Times Of India, News9Live, Swarajya, Golden Jubilee Celebrations, Inshorts, The Live Nagpur, The Hans India, NDTV, Deccan Herald