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Chandrayaan-3: The real story of women power in space- Know all about India’s Rocket woman Ritu Kari

Indian women are leaving no stone unturned to make a mark for themselves in every sphere. One such person is Dr Ritu Karidhal Srivastava, senior scientist at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and deputy operations director of Chandrayaan-3. She was instrumental in the success of Chandrayaan-3 mission.

Dr Ritu Karidhal Srivastava, popularly known as the “Rocket Woman of India” played a vital role in making the launch of Chandrayaan-3 a success. It was on July 14 that ISRO launched its third lunar mission-Chandrayaan 3 on-board the heavylift LVM3-M4 rocket at Sriharikota Space Centre.

The success of the mission can be gauged from the fact that Chandrayaan-3 was successfully placed in orbit by the LVM3-M4 lander. The LVM3-M4 rocket, which is one of the biggest and heaviest in its class and dubbed as ‘Fat Boy’ lifted off majestically from the second launch pad at Sriharikota.

She also played a vital role in the development of India’s Mangalyaan Mars Orbiter Mission and this was ISRO’s one of the greatest success stories. Dr Ritu Karidhal was actively involved in the designing and implementation part of craft’s onward autonomous system.

Ritu Karidhal’s Early Life

Ritu Karidhal’s fascination for the space world started from her early days. Once she had said that she always had a fascination for the mysteries of outer space. She was keen to know what lay in the outer spaces and why did the size of the moon increase or decrease.

Ritu Karidhal was raised in a middle class family in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh). Her entry into the world of science and space came at a time when it was considered as a male bastion. However, this did not prove to be a roadblock for her. At a young age, her hobbies included reading and collecting articles related to space activities of ISRO and NASA.

Academic Qualification of Ritu Karidhal

She did her B.Sc and M.Sc in physics from Lucknow University and then did her M.Tech in Aerospace Engineering from Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

Awards and Recognitions for India’s Rocket Woman

Ritu Karidhal joined ISRO in 1997 and her hard work and passion for science has been recognised time and again. Some of the awards that she has won include:

- Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies & Industries (SIATI) conferred her with ‘Women Achievers in Aerospace, 2017’ award

- ‘ISRO Team Award for MOM in 2015’

- ASI Team Award’

- ‘ISRO Young Scientist Award’ by former President APJ Abdul Kalam

Apart from the awards she has published more than 20 papers in the national and international journals.

A Role Model for STEM Professionals

She has played a very important role in giving the much needed impetus to the field of science and technology. Ritu Karidhal is truly an inspiration for those individuals who are working in the field science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Some of the other missions on which she had worked include the GSAT-6A mission and the GSAT-7A mission.

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