Payload Pioneers 2023: Nidhi Sandeep Vasaikar

Nidhi Sandeep Vasaikar, a 28-year-old aerospace engineer from India, is on a mission to advance STEM education among students in underserved communities.

Growing up in a small village, Vaisaikar said she faced challenges pursuing science, including a teacher who “brushed off the idea of a girl” studying a STEM field.

But with the support of her mother, Vasaikar stuck with her love of science. During her time in school, she launched a hydrogen balloon to capture comet images and contributed to the BrahMos missile design. 

Reaching the change-makers:Today, she serves as the Moon Village Association’s regional coordinator for South Asia, where she collaborates with young people who are interested in space across various Asian countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

“The key role in this industry is played by students and young professionals who will be the change-makers of tomorrow,” Vaisaikar said. She recently orchestrated a video competition centered around the Chandrayaan-3 lunar landing for teenagers. The initiative garnered 300+ submissions from around the world, ginning up excitement for the scientific mission.

Vaisaiakar’s commitment to an inclusive space community is also displayed by her endeavors to make space education accessible. Her initiatives, including scholarships and educational programs, aim to bridge educational gaps and nurture the next generation in the space sector.

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