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Top 5 Indians Working at NASA

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 24 September 2012, 09:42 Hrs   |    5 Comments
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Bangalore: Indians are known for their talent and noteworthy contributions to the world in the field of science and technology. To justify this, we have some of the Indians who are setting a benchmark in this field and are holding prominent positions in major and renowned organizations such as NASA. Praising India and its natives, former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin once said ‘India has extensive space-related experience, capabilities and infrastructure, and will continue to be a welcome partner in NASA's future space exploration activities’.

According to a survey done by the Indian Government in the year 2008 it was revealed that 36 percent of scientists working at NASA are Indians. However, Kamlesh Lulla, chief scientist for Earth observation at NASA has a contradictory viewpoint, who said that, ‘’In reality, a very very small number of scientists of Indian origin work for NASA directly and some work for NASA contractors. It is unwise to use numbers that have not been based on accurate data. Numbers could be very low, as low as less than 1percent’’.

Here is a list of top 5 Indians working at NASA-

Sunita Williams

Sunita Williams is the Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA, who holds the record of the longest spaceflight among female space travelers. She happens to be the second Indian-American woman who got the opportunity to go to space after the Late Kalpana Chawla and now she is on her second space mission.

When Williams was just 5, she watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon and dreamed of being in his shoes which seemed somewhat unrealistic at that age, she recalls. "I never really thought that that would happen in my life" says Williams.  "It seemed too far out there, something that I could never achieve."

William says that further understanding of how to live and work in space is the most important task lying before her, as a member of space station crew.

Once Manmohan Singh told Sunita that India was "truly proud of her achievements" and that she was a "source of inspiration for all our young people". 

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Reader's comments(5)
Posted by:KARTHICK - 30 Dec, 2013
2: i belong to small city bhopal in madhya pradesh but really it seems that i can be matched to new technologies because of you. and i feel that i will be part of your small inspiration i want to thanks silicon india you upgrade me with your dialy news feed.
Posted by:roohi siddique - 09 Nov, 2013
3: Sad so very sad. Many Indians have to come to USA and serve Americans while their talents could have been utilized in India. Some of the reasons why they come to US are:
a) Lack of equality of opportunities in India because of reservations
b) Non-recognition of talents and skills
c) Lack of incentives
d) Lack of rules of the game
e) Competition based not on intelligence and skills but based on connections

However, not every Indian who comes to US gets to shine:
a) Many of them end up in underpaid jobs
b) Even in places of academia they have to play a subservient role and dance to the dictates of US bosses
c) Even when occupying higher positions, such positions are more often honorary or decorative in nature, with the real power being exercised either by underlings or overlords
d) Even in US talent goes either unrecognized or does not get rewarded. The credit for hard work of extremely hardworking Indians in laboratories and research gets taken by others
e) Many a times Indian researchers do not get opportunity to express their ideas freely. Very few Indian researchers get their articles published. Often, research work get rejected on frivolous ground of lack of proper English or grammar.
f) Many a times Indian researchers will have to either add names of others as Co-authors and remain content either as second author or last author, in a research publication, just to get published.
g) Even in cream job market like IT, many a times a talented Indian has to resort to unscrupulous methods like faking resumes, proxy interviews so that middlemen can profit from hard work of talented Indians
h) Lastly, while Indians recognize Indians who have reached top, they provide very little support to other Indians either morally or financially to help them succeed in US. Very often, NRIs become butt of jokes or petty jealousies. NRIs do not get proper respect and good treatment even when they visit India.
Posted by:Manjunath Rao - 24 Sep, 2012
I agree with you in the sense in India we do not have time and place to recognize merit. We believe in age old reservations which spoils the minds of meritorious Indians. So they go to place where merit is recognized or partly recognized. I pray god at least India will wake up now and reservations will be banned totally in the areas of medicine and engineering. Patients should not waste their time in searching for talented meritorious doctors in the case of emergencies. Also people should not have doubts about design of bridge while crossing it.Let brilliants do this and save people and India at large.
avnswamy Replied to: Manjunath Rao - 28 Sep, 2012
5: wow....nice list...
Posted by:kayalia - 24 Sep, 2012