You must be aware that India is set to become the fourth nation in the world to send a manned mission to space after the US, Russia, and China. ISRO’s ambitious project, Gaganyaan, intends to send an Indian in space with the tri-colour in 2022, thereby marking India’s 75th year of independence.
What makes this mission more special is that it is being led by a woman, VR Lalithambika! With her determination and passion, she’s sending a strong message to women all over India and the world, and that is – Nothing is impossible if you are determined and hard-working.
Right then. Let’s get the much-needed dose of inspiration from the one who dared to reach for the stars!
VR Lalithambika is currently the Deputy Director at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and holds a master’s degree in control engineering. But success wasn’t a cakewalk for her.
VR Lalithambika joined the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in the year 1988 as a scientist. During her incredible 30-year career with ISRO and VSSC, she has moved up the ranks to become a core member of several prominent projects, which include autopilot designers for PSLV and both launches of the GSLV!
After nearly 30 years of hard work, her time to truly shine had arrived!
On 15th February, 2017, the PSLV-C37 mission had successfully launched 104 satellites into space. VR Lalithambika was an integral part of the team responsible for this mammoth task. This mission involved end-to-end testing of all systems, which included computer simulations, preparing for worst-case scenarios, ensuring a safe launch and each satellite stays in its own orbit.
By the way, here’s something we bet you didn’t know! She had a golden opportunity to pursue her education in IIT, but her impending marriage prevented her from doing so. She however, didn’t let it stop her in any way, and here’s the best part – she ended up joining IIT-Madras for an M.Tech course later on!
VR Lalithambika’s appointment as the head of the Gaganyaan Mission was made just hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of India sending its first manned mission to space during his Independence Day speech. VR Lalithambika’s appointment has created a lot of buzz on social media with many Indians, especially women congratulating her on her appointment. People have also lauded ISRO for appointing a woman to lead India’s first ever manned mission to space.
VR Lalithambika’s appointment as the head of such a prestigious project is an inspiration in itself for millions of girls who dream big, but don’t follow their dreams. She is a prime example that no job, position or designation is reserved for men in our country. Just because no woman has done it before doesn’t mean no woman can.
In fact, it’s an opportunity to be the first woman to do it and leave your own mark, just like VR Lalithambika is set to head ISRO’s first human spaceflight program.
All in all, like VR Lalithambika, women can use their education and lead the country in its future. So if you want to let your talent shine someday, but have the enviable task of handling other professional or personal tasks, try taking up a distance learning course and soak up the skills required to match your natural talent! Who knows, someday you could reach for the stars too!