Key Chandrayaan-2 scientist makes parents in Bengal proud

Sriharikota: India moved towards its second tryst with the moon as ISRO's heavy lift rocket - the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) - carrying the 3,850 kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, blasted off from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh on July 22, 2019. The 43.4 metre tall, 640 ton rocket, nicknamed 'Bahubali' for as the hero in the successful film lifts a heavy lingam, it carries the 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-2, which will carry out India's second mission to its closest celestial neighbour.

Kolkata,┬áThe successful launch of Chandrayaan-2 is a proud moment for the parents of Chandrakanata Das – hailing from West Bengal’s Hooghly district – who is one of the key scientists of the mission.

India’s second lunar mission was well on track as its ‘Babubali’ GSLV rocket successfully put the moon spacecraft — Chandrayaan-2 — into the orbit on Monday afternoon.

Born in Hooghly’s Shibpur village, Chandrakanta Kumar is now a senior scientist of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and designs antenna systems for Indian satellites and ground stations.

He had served as a project manager, antenna systems, for Chandrayaan-1, GSAT-12 and ASTROSAT. Presently he is the Deputy Project Director, responsible for the radio frequency system of Chandrayaan-2 and heads the electromagnetics section of the U.R. Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru.

Kumar, who studied in R.K. Mission Vidyamandir in Belur, was initially named Suryakanta by his parents but later changed his name to Chandrakanta, said his father Madhusudan Kumar, who is very happy with the strange coincidence.

On July 15, the villagers had gathered at the Kumars’ house and were glued to the TV set as they took pride in the achievements of the son of their soil. However, the launch was called off due to a technical snag.

“Kumar spoke to his mother in the morning (Monday) before going to the office, telling us to watch the launch on TV,” his father said.

His mother, Ashima Kumar, has been eagerly waiting to speak to her son when he calls up home.

At times, she laments that both her sons are away from home. However, the father is very proud of them.

“I tell her not to feel lonely as our biggest achievement is the name and fame they had earned for themselves. Earlier, even the neighbours never gave us any importance. Now we should be proud that the entire country is taking note of him,” he added.