India scripted history on Wednesday when it successfully put the Mars mission in Mars orbit. With this, India becomes the first and the only country to pull something of this magnitude leaving China and Japan behind. But behind such a huge successful launch there's always a team which requires a special mention and not just in end-credits. We bring you the 14 brains behind Mangalyaan who helped put India in the elite club.
1. K Radhakrishnan: He is the chairman of Isro and secretary, department of space. The 65-year-old avionic engineer graduated in engineering from Kerala University in 1970. Radhakrishnan also has an MBA degree from IIM-Bangalore and he also got a doctorate from IIT-Kharagpur. Besides being a top space scientist, Radhakrishnan is an enthusiast of Kerala's classical art form Kathakali and a keen music lover. He received a Padma Bhushan in 2014.
2. M Annadurai: He is the programme director of Mars Orbiter Mission. Mylswamy Annadurai joined Isro in 1982 and was the project director for Chandrayaan I, Chandrayaan II, ASTROSTAT, Aditya -I and the Mars Obiter Mission. Annadurai and his works are mentioned in the 10th standard Science Text Book of Tamil Nadu. Born in Kodhawady near Pollachi in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu, Annadurai has been leading many Remote Sensing and Science missions at Isro.
3. S Ramakrishnan: Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and Member Launch Authorisation Board. A senior Isro scientist has more than four decades of experience in rocketry in the Indian space programme. Joined Isro in the August of 1972 , Ramakrishnan played a key role in the development of PSLV which carried the Mangalyaan into the space. He had said, "From here to go to Mars we are going to use only a fraction of what we did in getting to the (Earth) orbit." The challenge for him was the launch of the rocket. He said the launch window was only five minutes. Ramakrishnan is a mechanical engineer from the College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai. He received his M.Tech in Aerospace from IIT-Madras with the first rank.
4. SK Shivakumar: Director of Isro Satellite Centre, Shivakumar joined Isro in 1976. He was part of the team that developed the telemetry system for Chandrayaan-I, India's first lunar exploration mission. He also developed satellite technology and implemented satellite systems for scientific, technological and application missions. He said, "Our baby is up in the space. It was almost like a caesarean."
5. V Adimurthy: Born in Andhra Pradesh and educated at IIT-Kanpur, Adimurthy joined Isro in 1973 and was the Mission Concept Designer of Mars Orbiter Mission. He was also awarded the Padma Shri in 2012.
6. P Kunhikrishnan: He is the Mission Director for the launcher. From the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, Kunhikrishnan has seven successful PSLV launches under his belt since 2009. He was appointed the mission director for the ninth time. He was responsible for seeing the rocket completes its mission successfully and that the satellite is correctly injected in the designated orbit. The challenge for him was that the orbital characteristic of the Mars Mission is different from regular PSLV missions.
7. Chandradathan: Took over as the Director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre in 2013. He joined ISRO in 1972. Initially, he worked for the SLV-3 project during its design phase and later was involved in the development of solid propellant formulations for SLV-3. Over three decades, Chandradathan made contribution to the realisation of solid motors for sounding rockets, SLV-3, ASLV and PSLV.
8. AS Kiran Kumar: Joined Isro in 1975, Kumar is the Director of Satellite Application Centre. He was responsible for designing and building three of the orbiter payloads - the Mars Colour Camera, Methane Sensor and Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer. The challenge before him was miniaturising the components as the satellite does not provide much space.
9. MYS Prasad: He is the director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre and chairman of the Launch Authorisation Board. From 1975 to 1994, he worked in the launch vehicle development programmes of Isro. He was part of the project Ttam of SLV-3, the first indigenously developed launch vehicle of India. As the launch was during northeast monsoon season the challenge was to enhance weather forecasting capability to 10 days and simultaneously carrying out preparatory work for Mars Mission while dismantling the GSLV rocket after the mission was aborted earlier this year.
10. S Arunan: He is the project director of Mangalyaan. Arunan was responsible for leading a team to build the spacecraft. The challenge for him was to build a new communication system, which would largely be autonomous so that it could take decision and 'wake up' the orbiter engine after 300 days.
11. B Jayakumar: The associate project director of PSLV project, Jayakumar was responsible for the rocket systems, testing till the final lift-off.
12. MS Pannirselvam: The chief general manager of range operation director at Sriharikota Rocket port, Pannirselvam was responsible for maintaining launch schedules without any slippages.
13. V Kesava Raju: He is the mission director of Mangalyaan. Raju and his team will track the journey of the MOM in the outer space.
14. V Koteswara Rao: He is the Isro scientific secretary.
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Updated Date: Sep 25, 2014 11:17:35 IST