N Valarmathi, a senior scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), passed away on Saturday in Chennai.

Valarmathi was best known as the voice behind ISRO’s iconic rocket launch countdowns. For over six years, her voice would resonate through screens across India during liftoffs, providing real-time mission updates.

She passed away on Saturday evening at a private hospital in Chennai, owing to a cardiac arrest. She had been unwell for a while, as mentioned in the sources.

The Voice Behind the Launches

As range operations director at ISRO’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Valarmathi handled the countdown commentary for dozens of launches. Her updates during the final moments before liftoff provided reassurance and excitement for viewers glued to the livestream.

“The voice of Valarmathi Madam will not be there for the countdowns of future missions of ISRO from Sriharikotta. Chandrayaan-3 was her final countdown announcement,” said Dr PV Venkitakrishnan, former ISRO director, in a social media post.

Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar mission launched in July 2022, turned out to be Valarmathi’s swan song according to the sources. The successful landing of Chandrayaan-3’s rover module on the Moon’s south pole made India the fourth country to achieve the feat.

Also Read: Veteran Tamil Comedian RS Shivaji Passes Away at 66

Pioneer in Indian Space Programme

A native of Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu, Valarmathi joined ISRO in 1984 according to the sources. She contributed immensely to India’s space programme over a career spanning nearly four decades.

Valarmathi’s most notable achievement was serving as project director for RISAT-1, India’s first radar imaging satellite, launched successfully in April 2012 as mentioned in the sources.

In 2015, on Independence Day, she became the first recipient of the Abdul Kalam Award instituted by the Tamil Nadu government to honour the former president and space scientist, as highlighted in the sources.

Her passing away has left the space community grief-stricken. Valarmathi’s contributions will be cherished and her iconic voice remembered whenever India’s rockets light up the sky.

Also Read: Indian-Origin Economist Tharman Shanmugaratnam Elected Singapore President


Follow Us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Flipboard | Google News