Chandrayaan-3 officially made history on 23rd August 2023 by making a successful soft landing at the south pole of the moon. This has made India the first country over to land a spacecraft on or near the lunar south pole and the fourth country overall to ever reach the moon.

It is certainly a big day for the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) and the Indian scientists involved in it who have been working tirelessly to make the mission a success. After the setback from the Chandrayaan-2, the landing of Chandrayaan-3 is a major achievement for the space sector of the country and its status on a global scale too.

Obviously, people are now interested in the scientists behind the mission and while many know of ISRO Isro S Somanath, there is actual interest in knowing of the many scientists involved in the project from around the country. One of them who has been with it since Chandrayaan-2 is a female scientist from Assam called Nidhi Sharma.

Who Is This Female Scientist From Assam?

Nidhi Sharma hails from the Na-Pukhuri area in Assam’s Tinsukia region while her parents are settled in New Delhi. Her husband Dibakar Deb and father-in-law Deepak Deb and mother-in-law Sikha Deb are all based in Tinsukia though.

Even though Sharma has been with the ISRO for almost 12 years now, her family had almost no idea that she was playing an important role in the Chandrayaan mission.

Sharma was actually a key person during the successful launch of Chandrayaan-2 in 2019 but as per her father-in-law “Nidhi is like our daughter and we are so proud of her that hailing from such a small town in Assam, she didn’t let go of her dreams. We were unaware that she was holding such an important position in ISRO as she never revealed what was her job profile.”

He further added “On September 6th, 2019 she called us and asked us to see the live telecast from ISRO. When we were watching the television we saw her there on the screen and we were filled with joy and pride.”

Sharma did her B.Tech in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IISST) in Kerala in 2011 and according to her LinkedIn profile has expertise in “design, development, integration and testing of spacecrafts and payload systems with primary focus on Thermal Control System design and analysis.”

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It was only when her family members saw the live telecast on 7th September 2019 and noticed Sharma among the team members they realised that she had been part of such an important mission all this while.

Given her experience of working on Chandrayaan-2 for which she played an important role in the launch and execution of, it only made sense to have her on the Chandrayaan-3 mission team too.

Sharma was involved at the Landing Control Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at Sriharikota.

Speaking with her father-in-law Deepak Dev, the first thing Nidhi Sharma said to him was ”Baba, we did it”.

Dev was also quoted by PTI saying ”We were very tense and apprehensive as Chandrayaan-2 had failed in the last few seconds. She had called us then and expressed her disappointment. With the success of Chandrayaan-3, we are literally feeling ‘over the moon’ and I have no words to express our joy.”

Shikha, Nidhi’s mother-in-law also revealed that even though the scientist is expecting her first child she was only concentrating on the mission and its saying saying “When I asked her to follow proper diet and take care of herself, she said she was concentrating on the mission and will think about it only after the mission’s success.”

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: The Print, Hindustan Times, India Today NE

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

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