Odisha-born spaceship designer Susmita Mohanty has made it to the prestigious list of BBC’s 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2019.
The BBC has described her as a passionate climate action advocate, who uses her business to help monitor and understand climate change from space.
“Hailed as ‘India’s space woman’, spaceship designer Susmita founded India’s first space start-up,” it added.
The list released on Wednesday includes six other Indians – Precious Adams, Parveena Ahanger, Fiona Kolbinger, Aranya Johar, Vandana Shiva and Natasha Noel.
Susmita founded India’s first space start-up, Earth2Orbit in 2008 and has since been working on climate change. She had also co-founded two other companies – MOONFRONT in San Francisco (2001-07) and LIQUIFER in Vienna (2004-ongoing).
Born to former ISRO scientist Nilamani Mohanty in Cuttack, she is the former chairperson of ‘Mo School ‘, an initiative of the Odisha government. On the day of her appointment, Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had shown great faith on her and said, “She is an example of what every odia girl or boy can aspire and achieve given the right support.”
In 2012, Susmita was featured in Financial Times’ list of ’25 Indians to Watch’. She was also voted as 100 young innovators in the world and featured on the cover page of Fortune Magazine (2017).
Susmita holds multiple degrees, including a PhD. She is one of a few to have visited the Arctic and Antarctica, on invitation.