Ritu Karidhal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dr. Ritu Karidhal Srivastava
Ritu Karidal at ISRO.jpg
Ritu Karidhal at ISRO after Chandrayan mission
Born13 April 1975
Years active1997–present
Mars Orbiter Mission, Chandrayaan-2
Spouse(s)Avinash Srivastava
ChildrenAditya, Anisha
AwardsISRO Young Scientist Award

Dr. Ritu Karidhal Srivastava is an Indian scientist working with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). She was a Deputy Operations Director to India's Mars orbital mission, Mangalyaan.[1] She has been referred to as a "Rocket Woman" of India.[2][3] She was born and brought up in Lucknow and is an aerospace engineer.[4]

Early life and family[edit]

Karidhal was born in Lucknow,[5] Uttar Pradesh. She grew up in a middle-class family which placed great emphasis on education.[5] She has two brothers and two sisters.[5] Lack of resources and unavailability of coaching institutions and tuitions left her to rely only on her self motivation to succeed.[5] As a child, she knew that her interest was in the space sciences. Gazing at the night sky for hours and thinking about outer space, she wondered about the moon, as to how it changes its shape and size; studied the stars and wanted to know what lay behind the dark space.[6] In her teens, she started collecting newspaper cuttings about any space-related activity and kept track of the activities of ISRO and NASA.[7]

Karidhal completed her B. Sc. in Physics from University of Lucknow.[8] She Completed her M. Sc. in Physics from University of Lucknow and got enrolled in a doctorate course in the Physics Department. She later taught in the same department. She was a research scholar at Lucknow University for six months. She joined IISc, Bangalore, to pursue masters in aerospace engineering.[9][10]

She has been conferred honoris causa (an honorary doctorate) D.Sc by Lucknow University during annual convocation 2019.[11]


Karidhal has worked for ISRO since 1997.[5] She played a key role in the development of India's Mars Orbiter Mission, Mangalyaan, dealing with the detailing and the execution of the craft's onward autonomy system.[8] She was also the Deputy Operations Director of this mission.[4]

Mangalyan was one of the greatest achievements of ISRO.[5] It made India the fourth country in the world to reach Mars.[5] It was done in 18 months time and at a far lesser cost to the taxpayers - ₹450 crores only.[5] Her job was to conceptualize and execute the craft's onward autonomy system, which operated the satellite's functions independently in space and responded appropriately to malfunctions.[5]

She supervised the Chandrayaan 2 mission as the mission director.[citation needed]

When the United Kingdom assumed presidency of the G7 in 2021, Karidhal was appointed by the country's Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss to a newly formed Gender Equality Advisory Council (GEAC) chaired by Sarah Sands.[12]


Karidhal received the ISRO Young Scientist Award in 2007 from A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, then president of India.[13]

Karidhal has also presented at TED and TEDx events describing the success of the Mars Orbiter Mission.[4][14]

Karidhal was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Lucknow University, her alma mater. It was conferred by Governor Anandiben Patel.[15]


  1. ^ "MOM has completed a revolution around Mars, ISRO scientist says - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  2. ^ "India's rocket women". Deccan Chronicle. 26 February 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  3. ^ "India's Rocket Women: Meet The Women Of ISRO – Rocket Women". rocket-women.com. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Ritu Karidhal - TEDxGateway | Independently Organized TED Event". TEDxGateway | Independently Organized TED Event. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Ritu Karidhal, the Woman Behind Mangalyaan,Tells the Most Passionate Story of India's Mars Mission". iDiva.com. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  6. ^ "8 Awesome ISRO Scientists Who Happen To Be Women". indiatimes.com. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  7. ^ "The women of ISRO". VOGUE India. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  8. ^ a b "ISRO scientist Ritu Karidhal's Mars Mission". femina.in. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  9. ^ "University of Lucknow to honour Chandrayaan-2 director Ritu Karidhal". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 26 July 2019. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Lucknow University Recommends Chandrayaan-2 Director Ritu Karidhal's Name for Highest Honour". www.news18.com. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  11. ^ "ISRO scientist conferred Honoris Causa by Lucknow University". Hindustan Times. 15 October 2019. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  12. ^ G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council membership announced Government of the United Kingdom, press release of April 9, 2021.
  13. ^ "Ritu Karidhal". WEF. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  14. ^ TEDx Talks (28 June 2016), The Indian Mars Orbiter Mission Story | Ritu Karidhal | TEDxHyderabad, retrieved 16 February 2019
  15. ^ "Chandrayaan-2 Director Ritu Karidhal Srivastava gets honorary doctorate from alma mater Lucknow Uni". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 October 2019.