Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) maiden space based solar observatory probe Aditya L1 was successfully launched from Satish Dhawan Space Center - Sriharikota(SDSC-SHAR) , Andhra Pradesh on 2 September 2023 .The team which made this mission successful is being led by Nigar Shaji who is the project director of the Aditya L1 mission .
Nigar Saji was born in Sengottai town of Tenkasi district in Tamil Nadu. She secured an engineering degree in electronics and communications from Madurai Kamaraj University and did her masters in electronics from Birla Institute of Technology , Ranchi Jharkhand.
She joined Satish Dhawan Space Centre Sriharikota ,a division of ISRO in 1987 . She later moved to UR Rao Satellite Center Bengaluru and held various important positions in ISRO . She was the Associate Project Director of Resourcesat-2A, the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite for National Resource Monitoring and Management.
Women plays an important role in the operation of ISRO’s various branches .According to various reports over 100 women engineers and scientists were involved in the successful Chandrayaan 3 Mission . Around 20 to 25 per cent of the ISRO’s 16,000 employees are women. Some of the notable women scientist and engineers of ISRO are as follows;
One of the most famous women scientists and engineers in ISRO is Ritu Karidhal who joined ISRO in 1997. She was the Mission Director of Chandrayaan-2 . She was also the deputy operations director in the Mars orbiter mission Mangalyaan,launched on 5 November 2013.
She is also popularly known as the “rocket woman” of India. She has also received the ISRO Young Scientist Award in 2007 from former India president APJ Abdul Kalam.
(Tessy Thomas of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is known as the missile woman of India .She was the project director of Agni IV mission )
Vanitha Muthayya has the distinction of being the first women project director in ISRO. She was the project director of the Chandrayaan-2 mission. She has also worked as deputy project director in missions such as Cartosat-1, Oceansat-2, and others. Muthayya won the Best Women Scientist Award in 2006.
Anuradha TK who joined ISRO in 1982 was the first woman to be a Satellite Project Director in ISRO. She headed the successful launch of three communications satellites such as GSAT-9, GSAT-17, and GSAT-18. She specialised in communication satellites and retired after 34 years service.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)