What is so uniquely common about Chandrayaan series that started off with the maiden lunar mission back in 2008? A Tamil connect.
After Tamil Nadu-born Mayilsamy Annadurai and M Vanitha helmed Chandrayaan 1 and 2, Villupuram native P Veeramuthuvel will be overseeing the third mission that would be fired towards the moon onboard the heavy launch vehicle, LVM3-M4 from here on Friday.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), under its chairmanship of the soft-spoken S Somanath, aims to enter an elite league of nations that have mastered the art of soft landing on the lunar surface, with a similar attempt made in 2008 not fetching the desired results.
Also read: Chandrayaan-3: Some questions and answers
Veeramuthuvel, aged about 46 years, is currently project director of Chandrayaan-3 mission under the leadership of Somanath.
Hailing from a small family in Tamil Nadu's Villupuram district, Ph.D holder Veeramuthuvel is an alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
He succeeds Vanitha who was the project director of Chandrayaan-2 mission under the leadership of then ISRO Chief K Sivan.
Vanitha also became the first woman project director in ISRO's history.
Mayilsamy Annadurai was hailed as the 'Moon Man of India' after he helmed the maiden Chandrayaan mission in 2008.
Interestingly, former President, the late Dr A P J Abdul Kalam who led India's rocket programme hails from Tamil Nadu's Rameswaram.