The rocket scientist moved to the United States more than a decade ago.
Working at the American space agency NASA is a dream for many space enthusiasts and scientists. The same dream was realised by an Indian woman who became the first Indian woman to help in NASA's Mars Rover Mission which involved gathering samples from the planet to be returned to Earth. The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA's Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.
Rocket scientist Dr Akshata Krishnamurthy took to Instagram to share her inspiring and motivational journey to the space agency. She has a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr Krishnamurthy worked on NASA projects by joining the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a research laboratory that is owned by NASA. According to the laboratory's website, it hires both US citizens and foreign nationals.
In a post on the social media platform, she stated that she came to the United States more than a decade ago and led breakthrough science and robotic operations on Earth and Mars. "I came to the United States a little over 13 years ago with almost nothing but a dream to work at NASA and lead breakthrough science and robotic operations on Earth and Mars." She stated that everyone told her that it was not possible for a foreign national on a US visa to achieve such a feat. "Everyone I met told me that this was impossible as a foreign national on a visa, and that I should either have a plan B or change my field completely. I'm glad that I didn't listen to anyone. I persevered until I found a way!" she added.
"From getting my PhD at MIT to knocking 100s of doors to get hired full-time at NASA, nothing came easy. Today, I work on multiple cool space missions including the Perseverance rover collecting samples to bring back to Earth," Dr Krishnamurthy continued.
Concluding her post, she stated that "no dream is ever too big or crazy." She said, "Believe in yourself, keep those blinkers on and keep working! I promise, you'll get there if you work hard."
The scientist has also held leadership positions on various NASA missions including Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research in Astrophysics, and NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar. She is also an investigator on NASA R&D grants, mission concept proposals, and mission design studies, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Since being shared, her post has amassed 1.9 million views and 65,000 likes.
"The fact that you still represent that Indian flag," said a user.
"Women like you are an inspiration to the aspiring female youth leaders!!" remarked a user.
A third added, "Totally wish you got the recognition you deserve."
"MIT and NASA? living the dream you go girl," added a person.
"Real heroes of our society," read a comment