08 March 2017 Current Affairs: Major events of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), like the successful launch of Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission) as well as the historic launch of 104-satellites in a single mission, all saw a major participation of women.
They came in the limelight for bringing applauses for India as well as for its space science institute, that is, ISRO, from across the world. These female scientists came into news for the first time in 2014 when a photograph showed few women dressed in saris celebrating the successful placement of satellite into the orbit around Mars at the ISRO office.
Later, it was reported that these women were scientists at ISRO and were a part of the mission to Mars. ISRO also informed that several women scientists who had worked on the mission were in the control room at the time of the launch of the mission.
Similarly, these female scientists were also a part of the historic launch of 104 satellites in a single mission. In short, let’s know something more about these Rocket Women of India.
TK Anuradha: She is one of the senior-most women officers at ISRO. As project director, she completed the realisation of GSAT-12, a communication satellite built on I-1K bus. She also a helped in the realisation of GSAT-10, the heaviest Communication satellite from India on I-3K bus & presently realising GSAT-9, GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 communication satellites. Being an author of several papers in space sickness, Anuradha is a recipient of several awards including Space Gold Medal award (2003), Suman Sharma Award (2011), ASI- ISRO Merit Award (2012) and ISRO Team Award (2012).
She has played the lead role in Indian Space programs as Project Manager, Deputy Project Director and Associate Project Director for Indian Remote Sensing and Indian Navigation programs.
Kriti Faujdar: She works at the Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan and is a part of the team that monitors the satellites and the several other missions like the GSATs, INSATs, METSAT series of satellites and Indian Regional Navigation Satellites System (IRNSS), now known as Navigation with Indian Constellation (NAVIC). She was involved in the launch and in-orbit testing operations of IRNSS 1C. The Master Control Facility (MSF) is functional at Hassan, Karnataka and Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
N Valarmathi: she was the project director of RISAT-1, which was India’s first indigenously developed Radar Imaging Satellite. She is the first person to receive Abdul Kalam Award, which was instituted by Tamil Nadu Government in honour of the former president Abdul Kalam in 2015. She was also associated with other projects like INSAT 2A, TES, IRS IC and IRS ID. Besides, as a scientist, after TK Anuradha, she is also the second woman at ISRO to head a prestigious project. In 2011, Anuradha was the project director of the GSAT-12 mission.
Minal Sampath: She, a systems engineer of the Mangalyaan, India’s mission to Mars, has worked in the windowless room. She led a team of 500 scientists as the systems engineer.
Ritu Karidhal: An aerospace engineer at ISRO, Karidhal was the Deputy Operations Director of the Mars Orbiter Mission that was launched by ISRO in November 2013 and entered into the orbit of Mars on 24 September 2014.
Moumita Dutta: She is one of the top scientists at ISRO and was a part of the team of Mars Orbiter Mission.
Nandini Harinath: A rocket scientist at ISRO’s Satellite Centre in Bengaluru, Harinath is the Project Manager, Mission Design and served as deputy operations director on the Mars Orbiter Mission (Maangalyaan).
Besides, while celebrating the success stories of women at ISRO, how can we forget the name of Tessy Thomas, who works at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) instead of ISRO. Tessy Thomas is the first ever woman director of an Indian missile project. Thomas was the project director of Agni-IV missile. She is known as the 'Missile Woman' of India.