Chandrayaan-2 Launch: M Vanitha and Ritu Karidhal, Two Women Scientists Are Driving Force Behind India’s Most Ambitious Second Lunar Mission
Chandrayaan-2 Launch (Photo Credits: Twitter, @isro)

Sriharikota, July 14: Chandrayaan-2, India’s second exploration mission to the moon is set to be launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on July 15. The mission will mark a special place in the history of Indian space research as the mission is going to be headed entirely by two women- M Vanitha, the project director, and Ritu Karidhal, the mission director. With the successful launch of Chandrayaan-2 on Monday, India will become the first nation in the world to launch a space mission that makes a soft landing on the South Pole of the moon. Chandrayaan 2 to be Launched by ISRO on Monday at 2.51 AM From Sriharikota; Here's All You Need to Know About India's Second Mission to the Moon.

Chandrayaan-2 is India’s Moon mission to the unexplored south polar region of Earth’s natural satellite. In its first, the mission is being led by two women. Both of them- Vanitha and Ritu are in their 40s and have been working with ISRO for over 20 years now. According to reports, Ritu has played a pivotal role in several mission operations, including Mangalyaan, while Vanitha is considered a data cruncher. On Sunday, Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar sent his best wishes to the two women scientists for the launch.

M Vanitha

Vanitha’s name will go down in the history of Indian space research as the first woman project director in ISRO. Vanitha was responsible for data handling systems for India's remote sensing satellites. Vanitha has been the deputy project director for data systems for the remote sensing satellites Cartosat-1, Oceansat-2 and Megha-Tropiques satellite. Vanitha has won the best woman scientist award in the year 2006.

Ritu Karidhal

Ritu Karidhal, the mission director of Chandrayaan-2 was earlier the Deputy Operations Director for the Mars mission. She is also known as the 'rocket woman' of India and has received the ISRO Team Award for MOM, Women Achievers in Aerospace. Ritu graduated in Physics from the University of Lucknow and later completed her Masters in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Science (IIS) from Bengaluru. She is responsible for the spacecraft's outward autonomy system. Chandrayaan-2 Cheaper Than ‘Avengers Endgame’: Here's What the Foreign Press Says. 

On Sunday, the 20-hour countdown began for the launch of Chandrayaan-2, India's most ambitious lunar mission. The mission will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on-board the heavy-lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle - Mark III (GSLV Mk III), nicknamed 'Bahubali', at 2.51 a.m. on July 15. Chandrayaan 2 Launch: ISRO’s Low-Cost Moon Mission Puts India Among Lunar Pioneers.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission takes off exactly 50 years after the astronauts of Apollo II made their historic voyage to the Sea of Tranquillity on the Moon. The mission will attempt a historic touchdown near the Moon's south pole, "where water ice lurks in permanently shadowed craters". According to reports, the only one other mission, China's Chang'e-4 spacecraft, has soft-landed in this rugged, forbidding region.