ISRO: A Personal History
Gita Aravamudan and R Aravamudan
Gita Aravamudan is a journalist and author who started her professional writing career at the age of 20 as a trainee with Hindustan Times Delhi in 1967. When she was 21 she became a full-fledged reporter for Indian Express Bangalore…the first woman reporter in the city. She free-lanced for a long, long time, writing for a wide range of English language publications from all over the country and abroad. She has also won a couple of national awards for her writing.
Her book of narrative journalism “Baby Makers: The Story of Indian Surrogacy” (Harper Collins 2014) the first ever comprehensive book on the subject has received excellent reviews and has been translated into Japanese.
Her book “Disappearing Daughters: the tragedy of Female Foeticide” (Penguin 2007)(translated into Marathi & Japanese) was released by President Abdul Kalam at Rashtrapathi Bhavan and won the Laadli Award for Gender Sensitivity in 2012.
Her other books “Colour of Gold” a mystery novel set in an Indian gold mining town (Harper Collins in 2013), “Unbound:Indianwomen@work” (Penguin 2010), “The Healing” a novel set in Chennai (Harper Collins 2008) and “Voices in My Blood” (Sterling Publishers 1997) (translated into Tamil) have all been very well received.
She co-authored “ISRO: A Personal History” (Harper Collins 2017) with her husband R. Aravamudan an ISRO pioneer. This has already gone into second reprint.
Gita continues to for various online publications on current issues.
Shri R. Aravamudan graduated with honours in electronics from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1960 and was directly recruited into the Department of Atomic Energy. He was the first of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai’s hand-picked engineers to join India’s space programme even before it started. After his training in rocketry and ground support at NASA he was posted at Trivandrum in 1963. He was among the pioneers who made the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) operational, eventually taking over as its Director. He played a key role in developing and building civilian indigenous Tracking Radars which even today form the backbone of ISRO’s Sriharikota launch facility. In his almost half a century of association with ISRO, Aravamudan has served in various capacities including as the Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota and as the Director of the ISRO Satellite Centre in Bangalore. He is the recipient of many professional awards including the Aryabhata award of the Astronautical Society of India and the Outstanding Achievement Award for a lifetime of contributions to Space Research in India, given by the Indian Space Research Organisation.