For the first time in India’s space history, two women scientists are leading a mission.
On July 22, 2019, at 2:43 PM IST, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched Chandrayaan-2 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre en route to the Moon’s South Polar Region.
India’s second lunar mission is being led by project director, Muthayya Vanitha, an electronics systems engineer, and mission director Ritu Karidhal, an aerospace engineer.
According to India Today, 30% of the team working on the Chandrayaan-2 mission is female.
Chandrayaan-2 is comprised of a fully indigenous Orbiter, a lander called Vikram and a rover called Pragyan. It is expected to land on the moon and begin its work on September 7, 2019.
“The mission objective of Chandrayaan-2 is to develop and demonstrate the key technologies for end-to-end lunar mission capability, including soft-landing and roving on the lunar surface,” reads a statement on the ISRO website.
“On the science front, this mission aims to further expand our knowledge about the Moon through a detailed study of its topography, mineralogy, surface chemical composition, thermo-physical characteristics and atmosphere leading to a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon.”