Meet The Women Scientists Who Put India On The Moon

India created history yesterday when it's Chandrayaan-3 mission touched the surface of the moon. Women have been the driving force behind the project. Know the women who made us proud.

Kalyani Ganesan
14 Jul 2023 Updated On Aug 25, 2023 12:46 IST

File Photo.

India's moon moment is finally here. One of the best factors about Chandrayaan 3 is that the project has a notable number of women working on it. While the project is not helmed by women, their presence in this extremely significant milestone makes it a proud moment for us. 

Kalpana K, Deputy Project Director of the Chandrayaan-3 mission said after the landing, "This will remain the most memorable and the happiest moment for all of us and for our team at Chandrayaan-3. We have achieved our goal flawlessly from the day we started rebuilding our spacecraft after the Chandrayaan-2 experience; it has been breathe-in and breathe-out Chandrayaan-3 for our team. Starting from the reconfiguration and all the assemblations we have conducted meticulously, this has only been possible because of the team’s immense effort."

As Chandrayaan 3 makes a gentle landing on the lunar surface, we celebrate the women associated with the project. According to ISRO, on Sunday, they effectively adjusted the orbit of the Lander Module (LM) of the Chandrayaan-3 mission. This module was launched on July 14th, and it successfully separated from the Propulsion Module on Thursday, marking 35 days since the mission's initiation.


Talking about the women in the project, a senior official of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that the mission had 54 female engineers and scientists who are working directly with Chandrayaan 3. He added that they were spread across various roles, including associates, deputy project directors, and project managers for various systems, and were deployed at different centres.)

Women Behind Chandrayaan 3

For many years, female scientists and engineers have been making valuable contributions to all of Isro's initiatives. Specifically, in the case of Chandrayaan-3, over 100 women took on vital responsibilities in envisioning, creating, materialising, inspecting, and carrying out the mission.


At the heart of the historic victory of Chandrayaan-3 are the women who have passionately contributed their expertise, shaping the mission's trajectory, and fueling its ambitions. From conceiving intricate mission designs to meticulously planning the spacecraft's trajectory, from navigating the challenges of interstellar communication to ensuring the precision of every orbital manoeuvre, their dedication resonates as a beacon of inspiration for generations to come. We uncover the stories of the women who shattered the glass ceiling of space science, proving that the celestial sphere knows no boundaries when it comes to gender.

  1. Nandini Harinath

An accomplished Indian scientist and engineer known, Harinath has contributed significantly to various space missions and projects. She was associated with ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan), which successfully placed a spacecraft in orbit around Mars in 2014.

  • 2. Moumita Dutta

An Indian physicist within the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of ISRO in Ahmedabad, Dutta specialises in the domain of Optical and Infrared (IR) sensors, instrument, and payload development and testing, encompassing cameras and imaging spectrometers. Notably, her involvement extends to the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) where she played an instrumental role in conceiving and realizing one of the mission's five vital payloads.

3. Ritu Karidhal


An aerospace engineer, Karidhal was the Deputy Operations Director for India's Mars orbital mission, Mangalyaan, earning her a place among the distinguished group known as the "Rocket Women" of India. Her dedication and expertise in mission planning, navigation, and execution have earned her recognition as a prominent figure in India's space endeavours. 

4. Anuradha TK

The senior-most female scientist within ISRO, Anuradha began her journey with ISRO in 1982. Notably, she became the first woman to assume the role of a satellite project director at ISRO. Her expertise contributed significantly to the successful launches of pivotal satellites such as GSAT-12 and GSAT-10.

5. Minal Rohit

Rohit played a vital role in facilitating the journey of the Mangalyaan space probe to Mars. She collaborated as a system integration engineer with other mechanical engineers on the MOM team, where her responsibilities included overseeing spacecraft systems and the functionality of methane sensors. 


6. Muthayya Vanitha

The project director of Chandryaan-2, Vanitha is an electronics system engineer. She has also assumed the role of deputy project director for numerous satellites, such as Cartosat-1, Oceansat-2, and Megha-Tropiques, overseeing data operations. Furthermore, Vanitha also played a crucial part in the triumphant Mangalyaan mission to Mars in 2013.

7. VR Lalithambika


Lalithambika was the director of the Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), which is responsible for the planning and implementation of India's human spaceflight program. Under her leadership, ISRO worked towards realising the Gaganyaan mission, India's initiative to send astronauts to space.

The women behind Chandrayaan-3 embody the spirit of relentless determination and exceptional expertise that drive humanity's quest for understanding the cosmos. Their invaluable contributions across diverse fields - from engineering and technology to mission planning and scientific innovation - have been instrumental in propelling India's space exploration to new heights. 

Suggested Reading: 5 Things To Know About The Chandrayaan 3 Launch


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