ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 Mission Success: Women Shattering the Glass Ceiling 

By: Keerthana Dana Sekaran – co-lead of the Diversity and Gender Equality Project Group

The Chandrayaan 3 mission made it possible for India to become the first nation to land a spacecraft on the south pole of the moon on August 23 2023, making that day historic. I rapidly googled “ISRO Chandrayaan 3 mission” on my Google tab to discover some mission updates, and 49,800,000 results appeared in 0.40 seconds. 

The effort that went into the mission’s accomplishment and the confirmation that sulfur and other elements are present on the Moon’s south pole have won it significant praise throughout the world. I was especially eager to see the video of the Pragyan rover rolling down on the moon’s surface from the Vikram lander.

Picture Source

This accomplishment demonstrates the potential of developing nations and the skills that individuals can bring to such prominent missions.

According to the most recent news where all the women involved in the mission were invited for the engagement with the Prime Minister of India, more than 100 women participated in this effort and contributed to numerous elements including robotics, navigation, and aerospace divisions. This is an inspiration to anyone  who is boldly taking up STEM education and careers with a strong interest and passion for space science. I was inspired by the brilliant women behind the ISRO Chandrayaan 3 mission, and positively surprised by the fact that they all come from different parts and cultures of India. Following the mission’s resounding success, names of notable scientists such as Nidhi Porwal, Ritu Karidhal Srivastava, and Rima Ghosh have come to light.

The incredible Chandrayaan-3 mission team celebrating after a remarkable landing of the Vikram lander on the Moon – Picture Source

In missions like these, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are crucial factors to take into account and could serve as a valuable lessons for all organizations worldwide. Only approximately 15% of the firms in the automotive and aerospace industries choose objectives and quotas as part of their DEI initiatives, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2023 Gender Gap Report.

These measures must be taken more frequently to support equitable opportunities for all.

In our conversation with Nikky Srivastava, a scientist at ISRO, she shared her excitement about the mission with us.

“As I speak, the breathtaking feather-like landing event flashes in front of my eyes. It was empowering, a dream come true moment for not just ISRO, but for the entire nation. This historical event is indubitably a huge step up for the Indian space sector on the world stage.” – Nikky Srivastava | Scientist, ISRO

She has also shared her thoughts on how the young generation can make their way into the space sector. 

“Space is fascinating! and the Indian Space sector is expanding. Younger minds are going to have a plethora of opportunities to create an impact on society and on mankind through their contributions in space.” – Nikky Srivastava | Scientist, ISRO

The younger generation needs to hear these messages, and we must set an example for them.

Photo credits: 

Reactions from Our Giant Leap members to the success of the ISRO Chandrayaan 3 mission:

‘It’s a proud moment for me knowing that my birth country has been able to successfully land on the moon. I am looking forward to seeing more achievements and discoveries!’ Salvi Verma, PADAWANS

Follow-up articles

Chandrayaan-3 success puts India’s ‘rocket women’ in the spotlight

Women scientists chose Chandrayaan-3 moon landing spot’ 

The Rocket Women of Chandrayaan-3 

Who is Ritu Karidhal, Lucknow’s ‘rocket woman’ spearheading Chandrayaan 3 mission?

About the author

Keerthana Dana Sekaran is our co-lead for the Diversity and Gender Equality Project Group. 

Keerthana is an aspiring aerospace engineer with a strong interest in advancing the field through the development of smart materials and exploring the applications of Self-healing Metal Matrix Composites within the Space and Aerospace Industries.

Do you have any questions on our activities within the Project Group? Reach out to us: [email protected].