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N Valarmathi, voice behind ISRO mission launch countdowns, dies

N Valarmathi, voice behind ISRO mission launch countdowns, dies

Chennai: N Valarmathi, Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist and the voice behind the national space agency's rocket countdown launches, passed away on Saturday evening following a heart attack, in Chennai.

The highly successful Chandrayaan-3, launched on July 14, turned out to be her final countdown.

Born on July 31, 1959, in Tamil Nadu’s Ariyalur, Valarmathi joined ISRO in 1984 and participated in several missions.

She was the project director of RISAT-1, the first indigenously-developed Radar Imaging Satellite (RIS) and the country's second such satellite. RISAT-1 was successfully launched in April 2012.

She was the first recipient of the prestigious Abdul Kalam Award, instituted by the Government of Tamil Nadu, in memory of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, also known as the ‘Missile Man of India,’ on Independence Day in 2015.

Social media has been flooding with tributes for the late scientist.

“The voice of Valarmathi Madam will not be there for the countdowns of future missions of ISRO from Sriharikota. Chandrayaan-3 was her final countdown announcement. An unexpected demise. Feel so sad. Pranams!”, Dr PV Venkitakrishnan, a former director at ISRO, said on X.

“Very, very sad to hear this. We worked closely with her for our Vikram-S launch last year, for which she was the voice for the launch countdown," a user wrote on X.

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