Chandrayaan-2: Women on a mission

Chandrayaan-2: Women on a mission

Chandrayaan-2, India's second lunar exploration mission, will be headed by two women making it a first for the country's lunar mission. M Vanitha and Ritu Karidhal will be the Project Director and Mission Director respectively, ISRO announced on Wednesday. They will steer the deep sea mission team of which about 30 per cent are women.

M Vanitha, the Project Director, is the first woman to hold such a vital position and will be required to oversee the development of hardware and other aspects of the project essential for the completion of the mission.

Vanitha had received the award for the 'Best Woman Scientist' in 2006 by the Astronomical Society of India and with more than just technical knowledge, all minute details are expected to be under her supervision.

Mission Director, Ritu Karidhal was previously part of the Mars Orbiter Mission as the Deputy Operations Director. For Chandrayaan-2, Karidhal will be developing the mission objectives, reviewing its progress and coordinating with other agencies to reach the goal.

“We only looked at the fittest person for the job, and it so happened that it was women here. It didn't make a difference for us,” said ISRO Chairman K Sivan.

This is the third outer space exploration mission for ISRO after Chandrayaan 1 and the Mars Orbiter Mission.