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Our 'Rocket Women'

Our Rocket Women

It must be reiterated over and over again until it sinks in and assimilates in public psyche the heights to which women can take a project, an organisation, a country, and a society if only given the chance and conducive environment to perform and deliver. In line with that, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully launched by ISRO on July 22 by GSLV MkIII-M1 Vehicle at 1443 hours. This mission was led by two women scientists Muthayya Vanitha and Ritu Karidhal who worked behind the scene and made it possible for India. Muthayya Vanitha was the Project Director and Ritu Karidhal was the Mission Director. It is for the first time that such a high-level project, India's moon mission was spearheaded by women. Muthayya is an electronics engineer, now invested with the responsibility of Chandrayaan-2. Mission Director Ritu has earlier served as Deputy Director of the Mars Mission. For the last two decades, these ladies have been associated with ISRO. They have been part of several launches as well as development of sub-systems for satellites. ISRO has previously had women project directors for the launch of communication and other satellites but it is this time that these women forces have come to the fore. In a heartening development, ISRO is planning to send one woman astronaut, along with two others, to space under Gaganyaan Mission. VR Lalithambika, as head of the human space programme office, is helping in mission coordination and working with Human Space Flight Centre, the nodal centre for Gaganyaan mission led by its director S Unnikrishnan Nair. In these times of peaking crimes against women and oppression of patriarchy, the inspiring examples of these women scientists serve as a renewed emphatic reminder that over 50 per cent of our workforce cannot be ignored due to short-sighted and narrow-minded attitudes. Women largely determine the future of our society, it is no secret that the more and better women are educated, greater will be the scope of the society, and consequently the state, to progress and prosper.

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