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Over the moon: Lucknowites revel in city's Chandrayaan connection

twitter-logoPTI | July 23, 2019 | Updated 20:13 IST

Lucknow, Jul 23 (PTI) As the nation celebrates the launch of Chandrayaan-2, some Lucknowites are over the moon, revelling in mission director Ritu Karidhal Srivastava’s connection with their city. Congratulatory messages continued to pour in for teachers, batchmates and relatives here of Ritu Karidhal Srivastava. "The entire department is feeling proud on the achievements of Ritu Karidhal, who did her MSc in Physics from this department in 1996,” Poonam Tandon, head of the Physics department at the University of Lucknow told PTI. “She was a very bright student and is certainly a role model for the current batch of students. The entire department is excited over her success and that of the ISRO. She is indeed a proud alumnus of the department," she said. Tandon said the department is chalking out a programme to felicitate the Chandrayaan-2 mission director. When asked if she was upset when the first attempt to launch Chandrayaan-2 was aborted days earlier due to a technical hitch. “I was very sure that we will bounce back and that the problem will be resolved," she said. In the state assembly on Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath lauded ISRO scientists, specifically mentioning Ritu Karidhal Srivastava. Meanwhile, a batchmate recalled the ISRO scientist’s days at University of Lucknow. "She was a brilliant student and had a good command over the subject,” said Vikal Saxena, who teaches Physics at a private university in the city. “In fact, on couple of occasions she cleared my doubts as well,” he said, recalling that she helped all students and was also popular with those from the junior batches. Ritu Karidhal’s cousin Ajay Srivastava shared the sentiment. “She is very polite by nature and used to encourage her siblings in every aspect of life. She guided us. Be it her educational qualifications or behavioural attributes, she is very good," he told PTI. Apart from mission director Ritu Karidhal, another woman scientist, M Vanitha, is at the helm as project director. Both Houses of the Uttar Pradesh legislature lauded on Tuesday the efforts of the scientists involved with the mission. The chief minister made a specific mention of Ritu Karidhal Srivastava and Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur. The GSLV-MkIII-M1, a powerful launch vehicle dubbed “Baahubali”, lifted off from the Sriharikota spaceport on Monday afternoon, placing the 3,850-kg Chandrayaan-2 into the earth orbit minutes later. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is aiming for a soft landing on the moon by its rover on September 7, placing the country in an elite group of four nations to achieve the feat. PTI SAB NAV ASH ASH

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