ISRO Scientist Lalithambika Receives Top French Civilian Honour

New Delhi: Ambassador of France to India, Thierry Mathou, on behalf of the French government, on Tuesday conferred the top French civilian honour of Légion d’Honneur to VR Lalithambika, former director, Directorate of the Human Spaceflight Programme, ISRO, for her important involvement in space cooperation between France and India.

The award was given to her by the Ambassador of France in Bengaluru. This award was instituted in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipients.

Lalithambika, is a distinguished scientist of ISRO, who has worked on various ISRO rockets, particularly the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), stated a press release issued by the Embassy of France in India.

In 2018, as Director of the Human Spaceflight Programme, she coordinated closely with the French National Space Agency (Centre national d’études spatiales – CNES) for India’s Gaganyaan project.

Lalithambika was instrumental in signing of two agreements for cooperation between CNES and ISRO on human spaceflight, under which the two countries could exchange specialists to work on space medicine.

Receiving the award, Lalithambika said, “I sincerely hope that this honour being bestowed on me will spur more and more women to take up STEM careers and to excel in their chosen fields.”

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