Three great people and the third landing! Know about the scientists who made us proud with ISRO's 'Pushpak'

Ananya Shroff
4 Min Read


New Delhi: ISRO achieved a major milestone on Sunday by successfully landing its third reusable launch vehicle (LEX-03). This has cleared the way for testing the re-entry of the spacecraft into orbit. This vehicle will be six times larger than the vehicle used for experiments so far. This mission demonstrated the autonomous landing capability of the launch vehicle under more challenging conditions. This is a huge achievement of India in the field of space science. The LEX-03 mission, conducted at the Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga, Karnataka, simulated high-speed landing conditions and attitude interfaces for a vehicle returning from space. This mission validated advanced guidance algorithms important for future orbital re-entry missions.

After America, this is India's success

This mission was successful under the leadership of Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC), but LEX-03 involved the cooperation of various ISRO centers, Indian Air Force, several aerospace research institutes and industrial partners. The contribution of Mission Director J. Muthupandiyan and Vehicle Director B. Karthik can never be forgotten for this historic success of ISRO. Sunil P, Program Director, Advanced Technology and System Program, VSSC, executed it. Mission Director J. Muthupandiyan was also the Project Director of RLV. Vehicle Director B. Karthik was its Deputy Project Director. With the efforts of all these people, ISRO's reputation in the field of space research and technology development started touching the sky. Let's know about these three scientists who made India achieve this feat after America…

Sunil P: Programme Director, Advanced Technology and Systems Programme, VSSC

Sunil P played a key role in guiding the team for the RLV Pushpak mission. As Programme Director, he oversees the Advanced Technology and Systems Programme at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), ensuring integration and execution of cutting-edge technologies in ISRO projects. His leadership in the RLV Pushpak mission contributed significantly to its success, proving ISRO's proficiency in reusable launch vehicle technology.

J Muthupandian: Project Director, RLV and Mission Director

J. Muthupandian assumed the key responsibility of Project Director for the RLV Programme and Mission Director for the RLV Pushpak Mission. His responsibilities included overseeing the development of the RLV Project, managing the mission objectives and ensuring its successful completion. Muthupandian's expertise in project management and mission execution was instrumental in achieving the mission goals. J. Muthupandian's career journey is a fascinating one beyond conventional boundaries. His educational background shows that he is a man of diverse interests, starting with his education at National Higher Secondary School, Nagore. He then pursued an MA in Astrology from Priest University, Vallam, Thanjavur, reflecting his early fascination with the universe.

B. Karthik: Deputy Project Director, RLV and Vehicle Director

B Karthik held the position of Deputy Project Director for the RLV Programme and served as the Vehicle Director for the RLV Pushpak Mission. In this role he was responsible for the technical aspects of the vehicle including its design, development and performance during the mission. Karthik's technical acumen and leadership were crucial in overcoming the challenges of the mission and ensuring its success.


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