ALL INDIA RADIO
Mann Ki Baat
Tuesday, 25 September 2018
The Foot-Soldier of Indian Space Mission - VR Lalithambika
With more and more women in STEM breaking the shackles of constricting norms,
the world in general and India in particular appears to be a breeding ground for
women to break the glass ceiling. With the country's Prime Minister,
Narendra Modi and premier space agency, ISRO, putting their weights behind the
country's maiden attempt at putting "
an Indian in space
", Indian women are
contributing in bulk to realize this dream of 1.3 billion people.
As ISRO's attempt, colloquially called the
, attempts to take
a leap into the space, the women on the ground are realizing this dream. A major
name in this conversation is that of
. Lalithambika has been appointed as the head of ISRO's Gaganyaan mission.
VR Lalithambika is the Director of the newly created Directorate of Human Space
Programme(DHSP). She was quoted saying that "the Directorate will work under
the guidance of the ISRO chairman and that all ISRO Centres will be involved in
execution of the programme."
A 56-year old woman of aptitude, VR lalithambika was born in a "family of
and was exposed to Science from her early childhood. In an interview
with ToI, she was
quoted saying that her grandfather played a pivotal role in drawing
her towards Science.
n the same Interview, she reminisced that owing to her
proximity to Thumba
Rocket Testing Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, she
rocket launches from
She enrolled for Engineering at the College of Engineering in Thiruvananthapuram
passed with flying colours. She, subsequently, pursued her M.Tech in Control
and, then, joined Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in 1988. She, also,
completed her Ph.D
Inspired by Marie Curie, She has an
experience of over 3 decades in ISRO
worked as Deputy Director (Control, Guidance and Control Simulations)
at VSSC. She has
worked as part of a team that optimizes fuel for launch vehicles
like PSLV, GSLV. She has
worked on the development of of software for onboard
computers of various rockets as
well as the design of many rockets.
Lalithambika has been honoured with Astronomical Society of India's Space Gold
2001 and ISRO Performance Excellence Award in 2013.
With an exceptional record which includes being part of the team that undertook
of sending 104 satellites in to the space in one go, VR Lalithambika
has proved her mettle.
Heading the "Human Space Programme," She has raised
the bar high and has made the
country proud. Her hard-work and her perseverance
has made her an icon and a role-model f
or the people of this country and for the
generations to come.
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