These women helped power India’s mission to Mars

Devjyot Ghoshal – Quatz  – Tuesday, 30 September 2014 (originally published 24 Sept)

Women in space program
Rocket women. Images: Reuters/Abhishek N. Chinnappa

The face of India’s space program has always been a man.

The seven chairmen, including the incumbent, of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)—India’s equivalent of NASA—have all been men, and it is typically male scientists who front the serious press conferences ISRO conducts after satellite launches.

But there’s a crucial band of women, working across the entire range of India’s space programme, that comprise about 20% of ISRO’s total workforce of 14,246 employees. About 10% of the total staff, or 1,654, are women engineers.

While smaller than other programmes—at NASA, for instance, about 20% of all engineers are women—Indian women space scientists have risen to prominence in recent years. . .

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