8 Indian Women Scientists And Their Rocket Ambitions

Indian Women Scientists

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By now everyone must have heard something about ISRO. But do you know who the mission director was? Have you ever heard the term “Rocket Women of India?” ISRO has launched many successful missions and women played a crucial role in all of them. Here are some of the women who made every mission a complete success with their exceptional contribution.

ISRO Woman Scientist

She is popularly known as “Rocket Women Of India”. She received the ISRO Young Scientist Award in 2007 from the former president, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

1. Ritu Karidhal

Isro - Ritu Karidhal

Ritu Karidhal is the name you are looking for. She was the mission director for Chandrayaan-2. A vital role considering the importance of the mission, however, the role of the mission director is different from a project director as a project director does not require technical knowledge.

Mission directors are for a single purpose. The duties of the mission leader include supervision of the mission; make reviews about the progress of the mission, and co-ordinates with other agencies to achieve the common goal.

I am a woman from earth, an Indian woman who got an amazing opportunity.”

Her childhood was no different than most of us, who are born in a middle-class family. Like typical Indian parents, her story was the same. They motivated her to educate and do well in life, which made her what she is now. She was born in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Lack of resources and unavailability of coaching institutions couldn’t stop her from succeeding in life.

In the earlier stage of her life, she knew exactly what she wanted to do in life. She had a keen interest in space science. The most fascinating fact about hers, that in her teens, she used to collect newspaper cutting about all the space-related activities. At the same time when kids usually paste picture cuttings of their favorite movie stars. She had something different in her mind; she used to collect newspaper cutting about all the space-related activities and use it to follow ISRO and NASA. She completed her B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Lucknow.

With her hard work and determination, she also cleared the I.I.Sc. Entrance test and joined the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to complete her three-year M.E. Degree in Aerospace engineering. Since 1997, she has been working with ISRO.

2. Muthayya Vaaanitha

ISRO - Muthayya Vanitha

The other important woman in the Chandrayaan mission was Project Director Muthayya Vanitha. She has been working with this prestigious organization ISRO for the past 32 years. She has completed her engineering in electronics and communications. As the role of project director doesn’t require much technical knowledge. She was required to supervise the development of hardware and other aspects of the project which would help in successfully completing the mission.

In 2006, she had received the award for the best women scientist that was given by the Astronomical Society of India.

3. Tessy Thomas a.k.a “Missile Woman of India”

Isro - Tessy Thomas

April 1963 was the year when a “Missile Woman of India” was born in a small city called Alappuzha in Kerala. Tessy Thomas was the first women engineer to head a missile project in India. She was the project director for Agni-IV missile in the (DRDO) Defence Research and Development Organisation.

4. N. Valarmathi

Isro - N. Valarmathi

She is one of the longest servicing members of the ISRO; she has been working with them since 1984 and was a member of several missions. N. Valarmathi is an Indian scientist and also the first person who received Abdul Kalam Award. In 2012, she was the project director of India’s first indigenously-developed Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT-1). N.Valarmathi is the second women scientist of the Indian Space Research organization to lead as a project director of the GSAT-12 mission in 2011.

5. Moumita Dutta

Isro - Moumita Dutta

She was one of the key team members of the mission (MOM). Moumita Dutta was born and raised in Kolkata. She was a member of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM). In 2006, she joined the space application center in Ahmedabad. Since then she has been regularly involved with various important projects such as HySAT, Resources at, Oceans, Chandrayan 1 and Mars Orbiter Mission. Moumita Dutta was awarded as ISRO Team of Excellence Award for her excellent contribution to the Mangalyaan mission.

6. Anuradha T.K.

ISRO Anuradha T. K.

The first woman to become a satellite project director at ISRO, Anuradha T.K. She was born in 1961, in Bangalore, Karnataka. She completed her engineering in electronics from the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering in Bangalore. She specializes in communication satellites and is one of the senior-most female scientists at ISRO. She won several awards and to name a few; Space Gold Medal award, Suman Award, ASI-ISRO Merit Award, and ISRO team award.

7. Nandini Harinath

ISRO - Nandini Harinath

Nandini Harinath was the mission designer, project manager, and worked as deputy operations director on the Mars Orbiter Mission, known as Maangalyaan. The amazing fact about her is that ISRO was the first-ever job she had applied to and since then she worked over 14 missions in a short span of 20 years.

8. Minal Sampath

ISRO - Minal Sampath

Minal Sampath is one of the systems engineers in ISRO. She was born in Rajkot, India. She also worked with mechanical engineers on the team of MOM. She won the Young scientist Merit Award in 2007 from ISRO. In 2013, she received the ISRO young Scientist Merit Award.

Read more: Gita Gopinath: The First Woman Chief Economist Of IMF


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