Meet Moumita Dutta, Physicist At The Space Applications Centre, ISRO

Moumita Dutta

In the blink of an eye, we would all be close to the date, September 6, that would be a landmark date in the history of India. Because in all probability Chandrayaan 2 would land on the Moon on that day. Behind this victory are the women scientists of this nation who have put in their extraordinary efforts to make  Chandrayaan 2 mission successful. Now that women scientists who worked for the success of Chandrayaan 2 mission are in the limelight we cannot forget other women scientists who worked for the Chandrayaan 1 mission as well. One such scientist is Moumita Dutta who has been associated with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) since 2006 and had worked for the Chandrayaan 1 mission.

Journey to Indian Space Research Organisation

Moumita Dutta once said in an interview that since childhood, she was interested in stars, aliens, space, and the Universe. She pursued her interest and ended up holding specialisation in optics. Later, through a newspaper story, she got to know about the then in-progress mission, Chandrayaan 1 . After a year-and-a-half, she entered the Indian Space Research Organisation.

Through a newspaper story, she got to know about the then in-progress mission, Chandrayaan 1 . After a year-and-a-half, she entered the Indian Space Research Organisation.

“In my childhood, I had dreamed about space, aliens, the Universe, the stars – particularly the aliens! But I didn’t think I would be involved in space science. I had already specialised in optics when one fine morning in 2004 I read in the local newspaper that India was preparing for its first lunar mission, and I thought ‘What a phenomenal thing’. From that moment on I wanted to join the ISRO. A year-and-a-half later, I did, ending up working on two sensors that would fly on the Chandrayaan 1 project. Chandrayaan 1 was India’s first lunar mission, which was launched in 2008. It also found the evidence of water before losing contact with Earth.

Current occupation at ISRO

Dutta joined the Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad in 2006. Since then she has been involved in many prestigious projects like Oceansat, Resourcesat, HYSAT, Chandrayaan 1, and Mars Orbiter Mission. Furthermore, she was chosen to work as the Project Manager for Methane Sensor for Mars. She was given the responsibility for the development of the complete optical system, optimisation, characterisation, and calibration of the sensor. Presently, she is leading a team in the indigenous development of optical instruments. Along with this she is also working towards the realisation of the ‘Make in India’ concept.

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Moumita Dutta on Chandrayaan 1

Moumita Dutta’s base is at the Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad. She mainly works on optical sensors for studying Earth and for planetary missions. As far as Chandrayaan 2 was concerned, she revealed that Chandrayaan 2 was first planned to be launched in 2018. Chandrayaan 2 would use advanced versions of the sensors flown in the last mission, carrying out a very detailed study of the lunar surface and mineralogical mapping.

“There will be an orbiter, a lander, and a rover, with mounted instruments to carry out experiments on the surface,” she said.

Educational life

Moumita Dutta was born in Kolkata, West Bengal. She obtained her M Tech degree in Applied Physics from the University of Kolkata. She then specialised in optics. “I became interested in physics when I saw the magnificent colours coming out of a prism in an experiment at school. I ended up doing a master’s in applied physics, even specialising in optics,” Moumita Dutta said.

Read also: Chandrayaan 2: Meet Minal Rohit, Scientist And Systems Engineer

Udisha Srivastav is an intern at SheThePeople.Tv