On February 15, 2017, ISRO made history. It was the first time that a country was able to launch 104 satellites in a single flight. It’s a celebratory time for the nation, but let’s not forget the hard-working women scientists who contributed towards achieving this goal.
Ritu is the Deputy Operations Director of the Mars Orbiter Mission. In her 18 years of service at ISRO, she has accomplished what most only dream of. She grew up like many of us, standing on a terrace and looking up at the stars at night. She also always wondered about the moon and the mysteries of outer space. Her passion for space pushed her to work at ISRO right after her postgraduate degree, and there was no looking back after that.
Talk about dedication, Minal worked 18 hours a day and 7 days a week for nearly 2 years! She managed 500 scientists working under her and did all that was needed for ISRO to meet the deadline for the Mars Orbital Mission. With passion like that, it’s not too long before she achieves her goal of becoming the first woman director of ISRO!
What would you do if you had to choose a profession based on TV shows that inspired you? Well, for Nandini, Star Trek was the inspiration to study science. She never thought of becoming a space scientist, but ISRO was the first job that she applied for. She joined ISRO 20 years ago, as part of the Mars Orbiter Mission and is now the Project Manager, Mission Design and Deputy Operations Director. Nandini is proud of the Mission to Mars, but is already looking to see what more she can do in the future.
Watching Neil Armstrong walking on the moon is what inspired Anuradha to become a scientist at the tender age of 9. Now, she has completed 34 years of service at ISRO and is the senior-most woman officer there. Her specialization is sending communication satellites into space. She is also a role model to many. Anuradha started working at ISRO when there were only a handful of women there. She is overjoyed that the number is now over 16,000. Her advice is simple, make arrangements and follow your passion.
Kriti grew up in Vaishali, the ancient city in Bihar. She now works in Hassan (Karnataka), almost 2500 km away in the capacity of a scientist/engineer. She takes great pride in working for the Indian space agency and making the nation proud. The Master Control Facility she works at is one of the facilities with the responsibility to monitor geostationary satellites like the INSATs, GSATs and NAVIC.
N. Valarmathi, is the project director of RISAT-1, India’s first indigenously-developed Radar Imaging Satellite. She’s been working with ISRO since 1984. She has been involved in many missions including Insat 2A, IRS IC, IRS ID, TES. She is also the first person to receive the Abdul Kalam Award, instituted by the government of Tamil Nadu. Valarmathi is also the first woman to have headed a remote sensing satellite mission for India.
These women have made a name for themselves because they were willing to try something new, step out of their comfort zone and achieve their goals. It wasn’t easy for them – it meant giving up a lot of free time, family time and more to get where they are today.
If you too wish that you could follow your passion for learning, start with distance education courses. These courses are the best way to learn, without having to spend too much time or money. Go ahead, make the most of your passion and ability, don’t let time or money hold you back anymore.