Priyanka Srivastava is one of the nine Indians who is breaking the stereotypes and is behind the NASA’s successful Perseverance Rover landing on Mars. She was part of the mission in the capacity of an engineer. In her four-year-long journey with NASA, she has been a part of three previous flight missions.
About Priyanka Srivastava
Priyanka Srivastava was born in the US, she was bought up in Lucknow. She completed her pre-university education at Mount Carmel School and B.Tech in Electronics and Communication from Punjab University (PU). She made a place to the University of Michigan in the United States for her further education.
Priyanka’s Current and Past Work Status
She was previously associated with NASA JPL’s Earth Science Mission to the International Space Station where she contributed in monitoring carbon data from space. At JPL, she also helped in the development of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) technologies.
She is currently working as a Project Verification & Validation (V&V) engineer for the Europa Clipper mission, helping the team build and test the spacecraft.
In an interview Priyanka Srivastava said that-
“I have been extremely lucky to be part of great teams. All my group supervisors have been women. In the Europa mission, for example, there is a 60-40 ratio between men and women. The lead chief engineer in the project is a woman. NASA is also making an effort to bridge the pay gap between men and women.”
Journey from Lucknow to NASA and her Parent’s Profession
Priyanka Srivastava’s father, Sunil Srivastava works with an export-oriented private company while her mother works with an insurance company. Her parents were both busy with their service schedule and securing the bread and butter for their family.
Despite their busy schedule, the couple never compromised with the education of their girls. Priyanka’s younger sister works as a medical professional abroad.
Kalpana Chawla: Her Idol whom she Looked Up on While Growing
Priyanka remembers watching Kalpana Chawla’s space mission news on TV. Priyanka aspired to be an astronaut and took Chawla as her idol.
Nothing Comes Easily, Priyanka on Facing Financial Difficulties
Srivastava family went through a phase of financial difficulty in her first semester at the University of Michigan. In her second semester, Priyanka managed to check the copies of undergrad students that brought her some earning to save up and invest more in education.
Her Teacher and Guide- Sunita Williams
In her third semester at the university, she worked on a project which was appreciated by the university and she was sent to Jerusalem where the astronauts from all over the world gathered for the convention. She met Sunita Williams at the event and confessed how Sunita is a guide to her.
A Prideful Journey With NASA
She did her internship with the Denver branch of NASA and was later selected to work in NASA JPL, California, US. She was also a part of the NASA mission to Mars in 2020- Perseverance Rover, operating and analysing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) system of the flight.
And since then, there has been no looking back for Priyanka and she keeps on excelling in her field and we wish her all the best for her future.