Meet Mangala Mani, ISRO’s first Woman Scientist who braved the cold for more than a year at Antarctica

For so long, the statistics proved that male scientists dominated the tech world in all aspects. Women are overlooked when men are at the helm of things. But, that doesn’t mean that there is space for male chauvinism. Women have a lot of catching up to do. They are making every possible attempt to carve out a reputation for themselves as successful people.

Women scientists are very rare in number. They have made significant contributions to scientific discovery and pushed the boundaries beyond human knowledge. They have gone through struggles seeking education, finding jobs. But they have overcome these difficulties to touch the pinnacle of success.

Mangala Mani (Credits: The Hindu)


Mangala who is ISRO’s first woman scientist always had an eye for space and research sector. She was an integral part of the 23-member team that went on an expedition in November 2016 to Bharati, which is India’s research station at Antarctica. Interestingly, she was the only woman in the team when others were only men.

Mangala Mani dealt with extremely cold conditions where she spent 403 days in the icy landscape of Antarctica. The temperature at the place was so chill that it would drop to as low as -90 degrees Celcius. Surviving at the coldest place in the world was very difficult. But the 56-year-old Mangala got the better of harsh climate conditions who was at the helm of ground station’s operation and maintenance.

Before taking this expedition, Mangala and her team were asked to go through mental and physical endurance. For mental endurance, she had to undergo a full medical checkup at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). After completing this, she went along with her team to the Chamoli district in Uttarakhand, and Badrinath to evaluate her physical endurance.

While speaking with Times of India, Mangala said, “My team members were very cooperative. Adjustments were made from both sides. Things went smoothly and there were no issues with any member.”

Mangala, the first ‘Polar Woman of ISRO’ proved that women don’t need a magic wand to become successful in life. All that they require is the willingness to succeed, the will to do things and the potential to carry on and the patience & perseverance to try even when there are failures.

BBC started showing interest in women’s expedition and Mangala is going to be featured in it. While speaking with The Hindu, Mangala said, “Women are venturing into every field. Women just need to be willing, ready and take that opportunity when it comes. With the knowledge explosion, sky is not the limit, there is much more beyond.”