The Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO) achieved a significant milestone as it successfully launched Chandrayaan-3 at 2.35 PM IST on July 14. This mission marks India’s endeavor to explore the moon, with a specific focus on the South pole.

Chandrayaan-3 took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre located in Srihari Kota, Andhra Pradesh. The primary objective of this mission is to gain a deeper understanding of the moon’s South pole and gather valuable information about its composition and geological aspects.

If the mission’s landing is successful, India will become the fourth country to achieve this feat, joining the ranks of the United States, Russia, and China. Taking charge of this ambitious endeavour is Dr. Ritu Karidhal Srivastava, a distinguished senior scientist at ISRO.

Widely known as the “rocket woman” of India, Dr. Srivastava hails from Lucknow, India. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Lucknow University and went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

Dr. Srivastava’s association with ISRO in 1997, where she has played pivotal roles in several significant missions. She served as the Mission Director of Chandrayaan-2 and held the position of Deputy Operations Director during the successful Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission) endeavour. Her expertise and leadership have been instrumental in the success of these missions.

Her contributions extend beyond mission management. Dr. Srivastava has authored more than 20 papers published in esteemed national and international journals. Her research has significantly contributed to the advancement of space exploration and related disciplines.

Since her early years, Dr. Srivastava exhibited a profound interest in space, nurturing a collection of newspaper clippings on ISRO and NASA. This passion for the cosmos propelled her to pursue a unique and impactful career in the field of aerospace.

Dr. Ritu Karidhal Srivastava has received many important awards for her outstanding accomplishments. One of these awards is the ‘ISRO Young Scientist Award,’ which she received from former President APJ Abdul Kalam. She was also honored with the ‘ISRO Team Award for MOM (2015),’ the ‘ASI Team Award,’ and the ‘Women Achievers in Aerospace (2017)’ award by the Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies & Industries (SIATI).

With the launch of Chandrayaan-3 and the leadership of Dr. Ritu Karidhal Srivastava, India reinforces its commitment to exploring the moon and expanding its footprint in the realm of space exploration. This significant achievement serves as an inspiration for future generations and cements India’s position in the global space community.

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