N Valarmathi, The Iconic Voice Behind Many ISRO Launch Countdowns, Dies At 64
By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 04, Sep 2023, 12:39 pm IST | UPDATED: 07, Sep 2023, 14:16 pm IST
New Delhi: N Valarmathi, the distinguished scientist of the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO), known for her iconic countdown announcements during rocket launches, passed away at the age of 64 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Her demise, attributed to a heart attack on Sunday, September 3, has left the scientific community and the nation in mourning. Chandrayaan-3 marked her final countdown announcement in July, and her absence from future ISRO missions in Sriharikotta is deeply lamented by many, with tributes pouring in on Twitter.The voice of Valarmathi Madam will not be there for the countdowns of future missions of ISRO from Sriharikotta. Chandrayan 3 was her final countdown announcement. An unexpected demise. Feel so sad. Pranams!" shared Dr P V Venkitakrishnan, Director - ISRO (Retd), a materials and rocket manufacturing expert. Social media users came forward to pay tribute to the departed ISRO scientist. One Twitter user fondly recalled, "She was the project director of RISAT-1, India's first indigenously-developed Radar Imaging Satellite.Valarmathi's departure comes shortly after India's historic achievement on August 23, when the Chandrayaan-3 lander module successfully touched down on the moon's South Pole. This historic milestone solidified India's position as the fourth nation in the world, following the US, China, and Russia, to successfully land on the lunar surface.
Chandrayaan-3 embarked on its lunar journey from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 14. On August 23, the Chandrayaan-3 Lander Module (LM), comprising the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, made a historic landing on the lunar surface, marking India as the first country to reach the uncharted South Pole of Earth's celestial neighbour.
In related developments, ISRO announced that the Pragyan rover on the Moon has entered a dormant state, with plans to wake it up in 14 days. The rover is equipped with two essential payloads: the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS), which were temporarily turned off. These payloads play a crucial role in analyzing the elemental and mineralogical composition of lunar soil and rocks, transmitting valuable scientific data back to Earth.
In the event that the Pragyan rover does not awaken successfully, it will remain on the Moon as India's enduring lunar envoy, continuing to make significant contributions to lunar exploration.