India’s achievement in space research and exploration has been on a remarkable rise ever since the country first launched Chandrayaan-1 back in October 2008 under the Chandrayaan lunar mission.
On Wednesday, India added to its hallmark achievements in global space research and exploration by becoming the first country to soft-land an unmanned space module (Chandrayaan-3) on the lunar South Pole.
People across the country broke out in celebration when news about the successful lunar landing was announced. Joining the celebration, people in the Northeast also expressed their happiness online by tweeting and posting about the involvement of several ISRO scientists from the North Eastern region in the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
One among such who was directly involved with the mission is Ningthoujam Raghu from the strife-torn Manipur who currently serves as the deputy director in the Directorate of Technology and Innovation, ISRO headquarter, Bangalore.
Raghu, who hails from Thanga Oinam Leikai, has been with ISRO for nearly 18 years and has worked in all the Chandrayaan lunar missions. He worked as the project manager for Lander Craft and Rover in Chandrayaan-3.
“I feel privileged to be a part of this mission as a Manipuri. It is indeed a proud day for the people of Manipur and the entire country,” said Raghu while speaking to Imphal Free Press over telephone.
“The contribution of around 300-400 people made the mission possible. The Chandrayaan lunar mission has put India as one the leading countries in space research and exploration on the global map” he continued.
He wished that the future generations from Manipur would go on to make even greater contributions to make India one of the leading countries in the world.
On the mission, Raghu stated that the journey from Chandrayaan 1-3 was one of the most remarkable achievements in global space research and exploration.
“India has always been the underdog in the global space race; USA, China and Russia have always been at the forefront but the Chandrayaan mission has put India in a league through its implementation of innovation and technology,” he said.
All three Chandrayaan missions have different objectives with Chandrayaan-1 being an orbiter mission and Chandrayaan-2 and 3 being a landing mission.
Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-up mission of Chandrayaan-2 and includes a rover mission to conduct a study of the lunar surface.
Raghu informed that ISRO is working on various space missions including the Aditya L1 mission which will be the country’s first solar mission and various other science missions
“India is not in a race to compete with NASA and other space organisations, we have our objectives which we hope to achieve and we are not in a hurry to do so,” he said.
Other Manipuris who also serve in the different departments of ISRO include James Leichombam and Leichombam Praneshori who work as officers in different non-technical departments of ISRO.
Y Bishal Singha from Silchar was a team member of the Thermal Control Team in the Chandrayaan-3 mission.