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Bengal’s ‘Moon Child’ Chandrakanta key member of Chandrayaan-2


Kolkata, July 24: From working in fields with his father to leading a part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission, Chandrakanta has come a long way. Chandrakanta, the son of a farmer from Bengal's Shibpur village in Hoogly district.

His father wanted to name him Suryakanta, but his school teacher advised the farmer to name him Chandrakanta.

Bengal’s ‘Moon Child’ Chandrakanta key member of Chandrayaan-2

It is a mere coincidence that 'moon child' Chandrakanta grew up to become a senior scientist of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and led the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which lift-off on Monday afternoon to the far side of the Moon.

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Chandrakanta's father, Madhusudan Kumar with his wife, was up all night on Sunday to catch the launch live along with the entire village.

Like their son, the couple was tense about the mission's success. Neighbours and relatives, who thronged their house, insisted Madhusudan and Asima watch the launch on TV. Madhusudan sat with folded hands as the liftoff was telecast live and after an announcement was made saying Chandrayaan 2 had been successfully launched, the relieved father hugged those sitting next to him.

Chandrakanta has designed the antenna systems for the Indian satellites and ground stations. He served as project manager, antenna systems, for Chandrayaan-1, GSAT-12 and ASTROSAT.

Presently, he is Deputy Project Director, responsible for the RF system of Chandrayaan-2, and heads the 'Electromagnetics' Section of UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC).

He joined ISRO in 2001, and over the years his hard work and dedication has made him a key scientist in this prestigious mission.

Chandrakanta, who is 42, is 11 years older than Sasikanta. He attended Gurap's Majiman Naba Vidyalaya till Class VIII, after which he went on to finish his secondary and higher secondary studies in Khajurdaha High School. He did his physics honours from Ramakrishna Mission Vidya Mandir in Belur and completed his MSc in the subject from Rajabazar Science College. He also has an MTech from this institution. Chandrakanta joined Isro in 2001 and began research in space science.

Chandrakanta's brother Shashikant is also a scientist at Indian space agency. Interestingly, both sons are named after the Moon.

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