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Who is Dr. Ritu Karidhal Srivastava? The Mastermind behind Chandrayaan-3 Expedition

Dr. Ritu Karidhal Srivastava, better known as the “Rocket Woman of India,” is an Indian senior scientist in the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) who is globally known as the mission director of India’s moon mission “Chandrayaan 2” and Deputy Operations Director of India’s first Mars mission, “Mangalyaan.”

Born and brought up in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, Ritu discovered her passion for space exploration at a young age. She received her primary education from St. Ajani Public School and attended Mahila Vidyalaya PG College for a bachelor’s degree in physics.

Subsequently, Ritu earned her master’s degree in Physics from Lucknow University and joined the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, where she studied aerospace engineering.

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Dr. Ritu Karidhal ISRO, Mangalyaan, and Chandrayaan

After completing her M.Tech. at IISc, Ritu joined ISRO in 1997 as an aerospace engineer. She was first posted at the U.R. Rao Satellite Center, where she worked on several projects. Following that, she was chosen to be the Deputy Operations Director of India’s first Mars mission, “Mangalyaan,” which was launched on November 5, 2013, at 09:08 UTC.

The mission was a success, and Ritu earned global appreciation for her tireless hard work and dedication. She then became the director of the India Moon Mission, “Chandrayaan 2.” This mission was a partial success because the lander crashed on the surface of the moon a few seconds before the scheduled landing.

However, the orbiter is working fine and sending valuable data back to Earth so far. Ritu has also played a major role in the successful launch of India’s third lunar mission, “Chandrayaan 3.” It will be historic if India successfully lands its lander this time. As of now, only three countries—the USA, Russia, and China—have done this before.

As a scientist, Ritu has won several prestigious awards, including the ISRO Young Scientist Award, the ISRO Team Award, the ASI Team Award, and the Women Achievers in Aerospace Award. Apart from this, she has published several scientific papers in both national and international journals. 

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Dr. Ritu Karidhal Srivastava Husband/ Kids

Ritu has been married to Avinash Srivastava for several years. They are blessed with two kids, including a boy named Aditya and a daughter named Anisha Srivastava.

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Some interesting facts about Dr. Ritu Karidhal Srivastava

  • Ritu was fond of space and science from a young and as a kid used to collect newspaper cuttings from ISRO and NASA.
  • She quit her Ph.D. in Physics and joined the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, to study aerospace engineering.
  • In 2019, Ritu received an honoris causa (an honorary doctorate) D.Sc. from Lucknow University.
  • She received the ISRO Young Scientist Award in 2007 from A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the late former president of India.
  • Ritu was a member of the 2021 Gender Equality Advisory Council (GEAC).

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