Valarmathi: The Voice Behind Chandrayaan-3 Countdown, Passes Away

Valarmathi: The Voice Behind Chandrayaan-3 Countdown, Passes Away

Several weeks after Valarmathi, the esteemed scientist from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), lent her voice to the unforgettable countdown of Chandrayaan-3, a mission that had sent shivers down the spines of every Indian, she tragically passed away from a cardiac arrest on a Sunday.

Valarmathi: The Voice Behind Chandrayaan-3 Countdown, Passes Away

Valarmathi had been known for her iconic voiceovers during rocket launches and spacecraft countdowns at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. It was particularly poignant that her final contribution was the countdown for India’s third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, which was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 14.

India, a country inhabited by 1.4 billion people, where the words and deeds of a chosen few etch themselves into the collective memory for eternity. Among this exclusive circle, you’ll find celebrities, politicians, sports icons, and yes, even scientists.

However, the launches of ISRO rockets shine particularly bright as iconic moments that bind the entire nation together, captivating millions who tune in to their television screens or devices to witness the live broadcast of these missions.

On August 23rd, the Lander Module (LM) of Chandrayaan-3, consisting of the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, achieved a momentous milestone by making a successful touchdown on the lunar surface.

This remarkable achievement solidified India’s position as the fourth country to accomplish such a feat. Notably, this historic landing also made India the first nation to reach the previously unexplored south pole of Earth’s only natural satellite.

The Pragyan rover carries two vital instruments, namely the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS). Currently, these instruments, responsible for relaying data to Earth through the lander, have been temporarily turned off.

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Both the Pragyan rover and the Vikram lander have been working tirelessly in close cooperation to gather invaluable scientific data. The APXS and LIBS payloads have been precisely designed for the thorough examination of the elemental and mineralogical makeup of lunar soil and rocks.

However, it’s essential to highlight the uncertainty surrounding the Pragyan rover’s fate. If it doesn’t reawaken successfully, it will remain on the Moon indefinitely, continuing to represent India as a lasting lunar ambassador.

Meanwhile, India achieved a successful launch of its ambitious solar mission, Aditya-L1, on September 2. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) reported on Sunday that the country’s inaugural solar mission is in excellent condition and performing according to expectations.

ISRO shared, “The first Earth-bound maneuver (EBN#1) was successfully executed from ISTRAC, Bengaluru. The new orbit achieved is 245 kilometers x 22,459 kilometers. The next maneuver (EBN#2) is scheduled for September 5, 2023, around 03:00 AM IST,” as posted on their official platform, formerly known as Twitter.

Final words

India’s first-ever solar mission, Aditya-L1, achieved a successful launch from Sriharikota on a Saturday. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) disclosed that Aditya-L1 is a groundbreaking space-based observatory created exclusively for the study of the sun.

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Following a voyage spanning roughly 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, encompassing 125 days, the spacecraft will be positioned in a halo orbit around Lagrange point L1, recognized as the closest point to the sun.

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