India’s ‘Rocket Women’ Ritu Kirdhal & Muthayya Vanitha Are Leading The Chandrayaan Mission

India’s ‘Rocket Women’ Ritu Kirdhal & Muthayya Vanitha Are Leading The Chandrayaan Mission

In the last decade or more, women all across the globe have been seen taking up more leadership roles than ever before in science and technology, breaking all gender stereotypes.

And now, we present to you two more boss women to add to that growing list. Make way for India's 'rocket women' Ritu Karidhal (Indian Space Research Organisation scientist) and Muthayya Vanitha (an electronics system engineer). These two ladies will be steering Chandrayaan 2, ISRO's pivotal Lunar project which will launch on July 15.

With scientific prowess and critical expertise for Space Engineering, these senior women space scientists have been associated with ISRO for close to two decades now.


Ritu Karidhal will be the Mission Director and Muthayya Vanitha will be the Project Director.

Talking about their roles in the mission, K Radhakrishnan, former ISRO chairman said, "A project director is responsible for the project from the very beginning, which involves getting the entire system configured, reviewed, assembled and implemented, and also to become a single-point authority for the overall project. A mission director handles all the things which have to be done on the spacecraft from the time it is inserted into the orbit, from the initial operations, raising the orbit to taking all the contingency actions when required. Whereas the project director is to be a part of the task for years, while the mission director gets involved once the satellite is injected into orbit."

K Sivan, ISRO Chairman revealed that this will be India's first interplanetary mission to be steered by two women. In fact, 30% of the team in this project comprises of women.

Here are some quick facts about the 'rocket women.'

Ritu Karidhal


Born in Lucknow, she holds a masters degree in the field of Aerospace Engineering from the prestigious Indian Institute of Science.

She was the Deputy Operations Manager for the Mars Mission and will now be the mission director for Chandrayaan 2.

Muthayya Vanitha

A design engineer, Vanitha received the Best Woman Scientist award in 2006 by the Astronomical Society of India.

She is the first woman to hold the position of a Project Director.

She was a key scientist involved in ensuring that the Mangalyaan satellite was launched on November 5, 2013.

Feeling proud, right?

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