Ummid Assistant

Jamia Millia launches courses on China, Afghanistan

IGNOU launches value education programme for teachers

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Science & Technology

'Rocket Woman' propels India's missile mission

Tuesday November 22, 2011 08:19:48 AM, N.C. Bipindra, IANS

Tessy Thomas receiving an award from Defence Minister A.K. Antony in the presence of DRDO chief V.K. Saraswat in 2010.

 (Photo: DRDO)

New Delhi: Forget breaking the glass ceiling, Tessy Thomas has virtually blasted her way through it. The 48-year-old is the first-ever woman director of an Indian missile project and is set to place India in an elite club of nations like the US, Russia and China with the capability to produce their own long-range Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).

She will achieve that when India tests its 5,000-km range nuclear capable Agni-V missile by February 2012.

Thomas also wants to see Indian women taking on combat roles in the armed forces.

"Why not? If they are performing other roles in the armed forces so efficiently, they can also perform combat roles," Thomas told IANS during a chat here.

"If women are willing to get into combat roles, I think, yes, they should be allowed to join. This, I am sure, will happen over time," said the 'Agni Putri' (Daughter of Fire), a sobriquet she had earned for her association with the Agni missiles since 1988.

The scientist from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was in Delhi after her team had successfully tested the new-generation Agni-IV missile Nov 15 that broke new records for India by hitting a target 3,000 km away from the Balasore test range in the Orissa coast.

This is the first time ever the country has tested a missile to hit target at that distance, thereby becoming the first Indian missile to cross the equator and hit a target in the southern hemisphere.

For her achievement in missile technology, she is also fondly called 'the missile woman' by the Indian media.

When asked how she landed in the male-dominated defence research and development world, she promptly replies: "Science has no gender. Defence R&D is a knowledge-based field."

Armed with an engineering degree, Thomas joined the DRDO and was assigned to work on the Agni missile project by none other than former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who is also known as the 'Father of Indian Missile Programme'.

She also has a masters in guided missiles technology.

She did her B.Tech from the Thrissur Engineering College at Kozhikode and M.Tech from Pune-based Defence Institute of Advanced Technologies. She was then selected for 'guided-weapon course' being offered by DRDO and soon after, her saga with the Indian missile programme began.

Since 1988, she has worked on Agni-series missiles and is also the strength behind the 2,000-km range Agni-II and 3,500-km range Agni-III missiles and has been the project director of these missile programmes, contributing to the guidance designs. During her initial years in the DRDO, she also worked on the 900-km range Agni-I missile.

Her inspiration?

"Of course, Kalam sir. He was the director of the lab I joined first and he was the one who assigned me to the Agni project."

Now at the helm of the Agni-V project, she supervises a work force that comprises five other women scientists. The entire Agni programme of DRDO has about 20 women among 250 scientists working on the missile systems.

Thomas, who works at the Missile Complex of DRDO in Hyderabad, first became project director of an Agni system in 2008, when she was asked to head the Agni-II.

In July 2009, she was appointed the project director for the Agni-V programme.

Last December, when Agni-II Prime (it was how Agni-IV was earlier known) plunged into the Bay of Bengal just 30 seconds after launch during its first-ever test, Thomas was disappointed.

"The first flight was a failure, though I won't call it a total failure. We could record the first 30 second data for analysis of some systems," she said.

But the second flight Nov 15 as Agni-IV was a grand success.

"We had an excellent launch. It is a tremendous feeling to prove all the systems in one shot. We have data on all stages of the flight and systems. We proved the whole system, most of which are indigenous," Thomas told IANS.

What next? Wait for Agni-V, Thomas signs off.



(N.C. Bipindra can be contacted at nc.bipindra@ians.in)


 

 

 

 

Bookmark and Share

Home | Top of the Page

Comments

Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com

Comments powered by DISQUS

i

i

i

More Headlines

15 injured in clashes ahead of Tripura colleges polls

After house, corrupt Bihar official's land seized

Job quota for destitute women Tamil Nadu police

Goa Church, business chamber to help school dropouts

Doctors overlook vital signs in diagnosing delirium

SIT says Ishrat shootout not genuine; kin relieved

Rupee falls below 52 against dollar

Aspiring teachers baton-charged in Lucknow

Maharashtra Muslims lag behind in education, jobs: Report

Sliding car sales may reverse in March-April 2012: Automakers

Madhya Pradesh CM urged to keep off religion from Education

NDA allies meet to decide strategy for Parliament's winter session

i

 

 

 

Top Stories

Maharashtra Muslims lag behind in education, jobs: Report

A report submitted to the Maharashtra State Minorities Commission last week by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) states that 

Maharashtra minister has no time to meet Unani doctors protesting against discrimination

Insufficient Junior Colleges in Maharashtra escalating dropout cases

 

  Most Read

SIT says Ishrat shootout not genuine; kin relieved

Gopinathan Pillai, the father of Pranesh Kumar Pillai alias Javed Shaikh who was killed allegedly by police in a staged shootout in Ahmedabad in 2004, said Mond  

Timeline: Ishrat Jahan shootout

India protests US depiction of Kashmir as Pakistani territory

India Monday protested to the US after the State Department website depicted parts of Jammu and Kashmir as Pakistani territory and strongly reaffirmed that the entire border state is an integral part of India. Rejecting the "incorrect" depiction of India's borders, New Delhi also asked the US 

 

  News Pick

Goa Church, business chamber to help school dropouts

The Goa Church and a business chamber are coming together in a unique initiative to harness the talent of school and college dropouts. Speaking to reporters in Panaji Monday, president of the Goa Chamber of Commerce  

Sliding car sales may reverse in March-April 2012: Automakers

Automobile makers are keeping their fingers crossed on the revival of India's passenger car industry after a dip in sales for the fourth consecutive month till October on the back of high fuel prices and interest rates. Some  

Opposition plans adjournment motion on price rise Tuesday

The combined opposition is all set to press for an adjournment motion on price rise when the month-long winter session of parliament begins  

 

Picture of the Day

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Emeritus Senior Minister, Mr. Goh Chok Tong, unveiled the bust and the Marker of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, at Asian Civilizations Museum, in Singapore on November 20, 2011.

(Photo: M. Asokan )

 

 
 
 
 
 

RSS  |  Contact us

 

| Quick links

News

 

Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant

 

National

Religion

RSS

Scholarships

About us

International

Culture

Twitter

Government Schemes

Feedback

Regional

History

Facebook

Education

Register

Politics

Opinion

Newsletter

Contact us

Business

Career

     

Education

     

 

 

Ummid.com: Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.