Early this morning as Santa’s reindeer were finishing their rounds, NASA spokesperson Rob Navias celebrated what he called “quite a Christmas present for the world’s astronomers.” The James Webb Space Telescope has begun its journey deep into space far beyond Earth’s gravity to orbit the sun and study distant worlds.
Born in Bihar during a cyclone, Ratna took the world by storm from an early age. Her father told her stories about space and about the first woman cosmonauts. After studying Physics and graduating from Shantiniketan she eventually worked for NASA in Greenbelt and started volunteering for AID while studying at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has coordinated projects in West Bengal, particularly Nishtha, an organization dedicated towards empowering women to fight for equal rights, equal opportunities and equal dignity. The women and girls Nishtha’s educational and training programs eagerly look forward to meting their Ratna Didi every time she visits India. She is a cherished role model for them, reaffirming their belief that women can reach for the stars. She talks with them about her own life and struggles and encourages them to stay in school and be independent.
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