|Ritu Karidhal Srivastava
|Rocket Woman of India
|Being the Deputy Operations Director for India's Mars Mission, which was launched on 5 November 2013
|Awards, Honours, and Achievements
|• Young Scientist Award in 2007 by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
• ISRO Team Award for Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) in 2015
• ASI Team Award
• Women Achievers in Aerospace Award in 2017 by SIATI (Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies & Industries)
• Birla Sun Achievement Award by the Bank of Baroda
|Physical Stats & More
|in centimeters- 168 cm
in meters- 1.68 m
in feet inches- 5’ 6”
|in kilograms- 60 kg
in pounds- 132 lbs
|Date of Birth
|Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
|Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
|• St Anjani's Public School, Lucknow
• Navyug Kanya Vidyalaya, Lucknow
|• Mahila Vidyalaya PG College, Lucknow
• Lucknow University
• Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
|• B.Sc from the Mahila Vidyalaya PG College, Lucknow
• M.Sc in Physics from Lucknow University
• M.Tech in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
|Relationships & More
|Avinash Srivastava (an employee at Titan Industries Ltd, Bangalore)
|Names Not Known
• Rohit Karidhal(Younger; Businessman)
• Subhash Karidhal (Younger)
Sister- Varsha Lal (Younger)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Ritu Kharidhal
- Ritu Karidhal is an ISRO scientist who hails from a middle-class family in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Ritu has been the Deputy Mission Director for the Mangalyaan-1 and the Mission Director for the Chandrayaan-2. She also led India’s third moon mission, Chandrayaan-3, which was launched from Satish Dhawan space centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota at 2.35 pm on 14 July 2023.
- During her school days, she used to spend hours on her terrace, studying books about the space or looking at the sky and the stars.
- As a student, she loved mathematics. Once, in an interview, she said-
I often used to write poems related to mathematics and imagine myself being surrounded by numbers”
- When she was a teenager, she used to follow ISRO and NASA developments in the newspapers, and she used to keep newspaper cuttings of all their missions and projects. She was inspired by their work, and she wanted to do something in the space sciences.
- Ritu completed her M.Sc in 1997. She started her PhD in Physics and had just completed six months of her PhD when she cracked the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). She quit her PhD and left for Bangalore to join the Indian Insitute of Science.
- While Ritu was pursuing her PhD, she was also working as a part-time lecturer. Apart from this, she had also published a paper during her PhD.
- While she was working as a part-time lecturer, she used to search for job openings in the newspaper for ISRO. Once, when she spotted a job at ISRO, she applied for it, and in a few months, she was called for a position at ISRO.
- When she was selected for a job at ISRO, she was in a dilemma, as she was very keen on research and did not want to quit her PhD, but it was Manisha Gupta (her physics professor at Lucknow University) who had encouraged her to join ISRO.
- She was posted at the U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC). Due to her educational qualifications and her performance in the Indian Institue of Science, Ritu was given tough assignments. She stated that “She was being given projects which were very advanced even when there were senior scientists available”. It gave her the confidence she needed and she loved it.
- She landed into the Mangalyaan Mission suddenly; without any prior notification. She stated,
We had just finished a project and suddenly without warning, we were plunged headlong into the next one, but, this was to be the most exciting project I had worked on so far”.
- While talking about her task in the Mangalyaan Mission, she says-
My job was to conceptualise and ensure the execution of the craft’s onward autonomy system, which is the brain of the satellite, a software system coded in well enough to function on its own, determine what and when to detach, anything that needs to be infracted. If there’s a malfunction, the system needs to be designed well enough to correct and recover on its own in outer space”
- 10 months before the Mars Orbiter Mission launch, her schedule was so hectic that she used to come home from the office, sit with her children and help them with their homework, finish her other household chores, and then she used to resume her work from midnight to 4 AM.
- Ritu wishes that more women should be in the field of space sciences. She states that the situation has improved, but, she wishes more women to be involved in the field and also wants women to win Nobel Prizes.
- On 3 March 2019, Ritu was invited to TEDx Talks in Hyderabad where she spoke about how India successfully launched the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).
- During the TEDx event, Shah Rukh Khan was also present. He stated that it was a very proud moment for him to meet Ritu Karidhal.
- She was appointed as the Deputy Mission Director of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called the Mangalyaan-1, which was launched successfully on 5 November 2013 at 9:08 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).
- Ritu Karidhal was the Mission Director of Chandrayaan-2, which launched successfully on 22 July 2019 at 2:43 PM (IST) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre’s Second Launch Pad.
- Here’s an interesting video about Ritu Karidhal’s biography: