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Muslimah NASA Researcher Launches Space Program

Being the first and only Indian Muslim woman selected as a researcher at NASA, Karishma Inamdar aims for the stars through her space outreach program designed to inspire students for space research work.

Karishma Inamdar, the 25-year-old “rocket scientist,” as she calls herself, was born in the Indian city of Baramati. She was selected in June 2015 as a research associate to join a team of professionals at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California. Having grown up in India, studied in France and worked in the US, she gained a great amount of cross-cultural experience.

Now she wants to guide other students to pursue a career in space.

“Space exploration is a challenge worth challenging, a goal worth achieving and best of all, a journey worth pursuing. If you want to achieve something, the whole universe opens up for you,” the young scientist said.

With the help of her friends, Karishma launched the International Chapter of the US National Space Society (NSS) in India called Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Initiatives (DKI). The chapter was formed in honor of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the former president of India, a very good friend of NSS and tireless developer of India’s space program.

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“The initiative will focus on space outreach and education. DKI is the platform to encourage, engage and educate all the students,” Karishma told Sputnik News.

“As space engineers and scientists, we have a responsibility to inspire the next generation. While working with the talented team of DKI, I realized we are not only working for students but also for humanity,” she said.

It is her dream not only to see the day humanity takes its baby steps off this planet, but also to play a major role in helping others achieve this goal.

Karishma believes that NASA has offered her a lot, and that, under the guidance of many distinguished researchers, she will be able to make a positive contribution to on-going space research work.