Mylswamy Annadurai, the ‘Moon Man of India’, turns 64 on July 2. Annadurai served as the director for India’s lunar probes, Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2, earning him the title of the ‘Moon Man of India’.
Mylswamy Annadurai is a renowned Indian scientist prominently known as the ‘Moon Man of India’. He has worked at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for 36 years. He turns 64 on July 2.
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He was the Project Director of ‘Chandrayaan-1’, India's first mission to the Moon that boosted India’s space programme. He also served as the Programme Director of ‘Chandrayaan- 2’ and ‘Mars Orbiter Mission’ or ‘Mangalyaan’.
Here's all you need to know about the ‘Moon Man of India’
Mylswamy Annadurai was born July 2, 1958, in the Kodhawady village near Pollachi in the Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu.
Following his early education in his native village, Annadurai went to pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering and graduated from the Government College of Engineering in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Later in 1982, he received a master’s degree from the PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore.
Years at ISRO
Mylswamy Annadurai joined the ISRO in 1982. He served as spacecraft operations manager for the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS)-1A, IRS-1B, and satellite programs of the Indian National Satellite System (INSAT)-2A, and 2B. He was then the deputy project director for some programs and was later promoted to the post of mission director of the INSAT-2C, INSAT-2D, 2E, 3B, 3E, and GSAT (Geosynchronous Satellite)-1 space programs.
How he became the Moon Man of India
In 2004, Annadurai served as the director for India’s lunar probes, Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2.
The Chandrayaan-1, which was India’s first lunar mission, was launched from Sriharikota Island on October 22, 2008. It carried 11 scientific instruments from India and several other countries, and the estimated life of the mission was two years. The craft entered lunar orbit on November 8 and on November 14, the Moon Impact Probe, was released and it hit near the lunar South Pole making the mission a success. Later, Annadurai also served as the project director of India’s second successful lunar mission, Chandrayaan- 2 earning him the title of the ‘Moon Man of India’.
Other projects and work
Annadurai led several satellite projects of the ISRO, but his most publicised post was the program director of the Mars Orbiter Mission also known as the Mangalyaan mission. It was launched in November 2013 and successfully entered Mars orbit in September 2014.
With the success of this project, ISRO became the fourth space agency after NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency, and the European Space Agency to launch a successful Mars mission.
In addition to working at ISRO, Annadurai also wrote a popular science column for the Tamil newspaper Kungumam and lectured students on science in an effort to interest young Indians in taking up scientific careers.