There is tremendous joy and a sense of accomplishment in her voice. Having slogged for days and spending sleepless nights on the Chandrayaan-3 project, Kalpana Kalahasti, Associate Project Director, is now on cloud nine, literally!
Ms. Kalpana’s family has its roots in Taduku village of Puttur mandal in Tirupati district of Andhra Pradesh.
Her father K. Muniratnam had served as an officer in the Madras High Court. Ms. Kalpana had pursued her studies in Chennai.
After doing her B.Tech in Electronics and Communication at Meenakshi College, she joined the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in the year 2000 and worked as a Radar Engineer at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota for five years.
In 2005, Ms. Kalpana moved on to the U.R. Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru, as a Satellite Systems Engineer, and she never looked back since then.
As an Associate Project Director, she had been a part of several projects taken up by the ISRO, including the Mangalyaan and Chandrayaan-2.
Ms. Kalpana offered her expertise to the Chandrayaan-3 project, the success of which placed India on a firm footing on the moon.
In an interview to The Hindu, Ms. Kalpana attributed the project’s immense success to team work and coordinated effort by various stakeholders.
“This is such a complex project that needed coordination at various levels and effective monitoring at every step. This became successful only because of the excellent team work,” Ms. Kalpana said.
Appealing to young women to become invincible in their chosen fields, Ms. Kalpana gives a clarion call to them to build a career in science and technology, where talent always surpasses gender-based limitations.