TENKASI: The contribution of Tamils to India’s Space Odyssey seems to be enduring as a woman scientist from the state’s southern district of Tenkasi will have her tryst with destiny when Aditya-L1 satellite soars into the sky on Saturday.
Nigar Shaji (59), a native of Shengottai, is the project director of the ambitious Aditya-L1, which is the first space-based mission deployed by India to study the Sun.
Speaking to TNIE on Friday, Shaji’s brother S Sheik Saleem said Shaji completed her schooling in English medium at the Shengottai government higher secondary school.
"She did her graduation in engineering from the Tirunelveli government engineering college and joined ISRO in 1987. She resides in Bengaluru and visits Shengottai whenever there are family functions. Shaji’s husband, an engineer, is working in a Gulf country, and her son is also working as a scientist in the Netherlands. Her daughter and our mother are staying with Shaji in Bengaluru. We lost our father 30 years ago,” Saleem said. Incidentally, Chandrayaan 3 project director P Veeramuthuvel is also from Tamil Nadu.
The 23-hour-and-40-minute countdown for the Sun mission has begun. Aditya-L1 satellite will lift off from Sriharikota on Saturday at 11.50 a.m.