On 12 June, ISRO chairman K. Sivan announced that Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the Moon, will be launched on 15 July 2019 at 2:15 AM from Sriharikota.
Unfortunately, due to technical issues, the mission couldn’t go through and had been rescheduled for July 22.
It will be the first inter-planetary mission headed by two women. In fact, 30% of the entire team in charge of the mission is composed of women.
For the Chandrayaan-2 mission, M. Vanitha is the Project Director while Ritu Karidhal is the Mission Director
M. Vanitha is the first woman to hold the position of Project Director. She is a design engineer by training and she received the Best Woman Scientist award in 2006 by the Astronomical Society of India.
Ritu Karidhal, also known as the “Rocket Woman of India’ became famous with the launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission where she was the deputy operations director.
Rocket science in India was considered to be a male-dominated domain. Five years ago, after the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) entered Mars’ orbit, a photo went viral online which showed women in the ISRO control room rejoicing and celebrating the success of the mission.
Women have started to receive their due credit and recognition. They have steered important missions and held key positions. As ISRO chairman K. Sivan said,
We only looked at the most fit person for the job, and it so happened it was women here. It didn’t make a difference for us.