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Rocket Women Announces Partnership With The Space Innovation Congress

19 March, 2016
Space Innovation Congress, London, UK

Space Innovation Congress, London, UK

Rocket Women is excited to announce our partnership with the Space Innovation Congress, taking place on 7-8th April 2016 in London, UK. The congress will bring together the brightest international minds in space to discuss innovative advancements in space technology and how these are being applied to many industry verticals. With over 80 confirmed speakers including international astronauts, commercial space industry executives, respected academia, governmental organisations and space agency representatives, including ESA, NASA and the UK Space Agency, the 2-day conference is prime for high-level networking and discussions.

Entry to the Women In Aerospace (WIA) Breakfast on 8th April is included in the conference pass. Speakers at the WIA Breakfast include Dr.David Kendall (Chair UN COPUOS 2016-17), Simonetta Di Pippo (President, WIA-Europe, & Director, United Nation’s Office for Outer Space Affairs, former ESA Director of Human Spaceflight) and Prof.Chris Welch (Professor of Spacecraft Engineering – International Space University, VP – International Astronautical Federation).

An exclusive 20% discount is available for Rocket Women readers to attend this exciting event! Simply input the code space16rocketto your basket when purchasing tickets here. We look forward to meeting you at the Space Innovation Congress 2016!

For further information on the Space Innovation Congress visit: http://www.spaceinnovationcongress.com

Inspirational women, Media

Inspiring Women To Reach For The Stars In Silicon Republic

10 March, 2016

Vinita Marwaha Madill at the at DLR (German Aerospace Centre) in Cologne, Germany, working on ISS Operations

Vinita Marwaha Madill at the at DLR (German Aerospace Centre) in Cologne, Germany, working on ISS Operations [Silicon Republic]

Rocket Women is honoured to be featured by Ireland’s biggest science and technology news website, Silicon Republic. The article is part of their ‘Women Invent’ series, which highlights and profiles women in STEM, aiming to encourage young women to be more aware of STEM and pursue careers in it.

Here’s an excerpt from the article in which I discuss the importance of encouraging girls to consider a career in STEM, my reasoning behind starting Rocket Women and the path to achieving my goals in the space industry:

The sky is no limit for space consultant Vinita Marwaha Madill, who is keen for young women interested in STEM to have role models.

‘In space, no-one can hear your bones weaken, but some exercise and a specially-designed spacesuit can help – and this is where space engineering consultant Vinita Marwaha Madill comes in.

“Astronauts carrying out six-month missions on the International Space Station [ISS], including Tim Peake, can grow up to 5cm to 7cm in height, with the spinal growth causing tension in the vertebrae and back pain,” explains Marwaha, adding that, in microgravity, humans can lose 1-2pc of their bone mass per month and their muscles can waste.

Exercise can help protect against these changes, but what else can be done? Marwaha has been involved in designing a ‘gravity-loading countermeasure skinsuit’ with the European Space Agency to mimic the effects of gravity on the body and help prevent elongation of the spine.

The suit, which draws on several years of research and development, was evaluated last year onboard the ISS by Danish ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen.

“With a force close to that felt on Earth, the suit effectively squeezes an astronaut’s body gradually in hundreds of stages from the shoulders to the feet,” explains Marwaha. “The suit could also be used alongside current exercise countermeasures on the ISS to help prevent bone loss. Bone responds to loading and the suit’s pressure on the skeleton could help to stimulate bone growth.”

Vinita Marwaha  Madill installing and developing the astronaut procedures for EML (Electromagnetic Levitator) using the training model at the European Astronaut Centre

Vinita Marwaha Madill installing and developing the astronaut procedures for EML (Electromagnetic Levitator) using the training model at the European Astronaut Centre [Silicon Republic]

Marwaha Madill has also helped astronauts to get to grips with spacewalk (EVA) skills at the European Space Agency’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany.

“The astronauts train to carry out EVA,s or spacewalks, underwater,” she explains, because training underwater provides a microgravity-type experience. “Astronauts initially learned how to translate, or move along, the Station using its handrails, move in the spacesuit and operate tools, before eventually moving on to training for full-length spacewalks.”

Currently based in the UK and Canada, Marwaha has worked too on ISS operations at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), guiding and training astronauts through experiments on the Station as it orbits Earth.

Marwaha credits role models such as astronauts Helen Sharman and Sally Ride for inspiring her to work in the space sector.

Aged 12, Marwaha went to the library and printed the astronaut candidate guidelines (you can see a contemporary version here) from NASA’s website, then stuck them to the inside cover of her school folder. She recalls them as being a daily reminder of how to reach her goal and set her focus on achieving them. “Those guidelines set the direction for my career,” she says.

Today, as well as working as a consultant focusing on space engineering, Marwaha is heavily involved in STEM Outreach through talks and through her website Rocket Women, for which she interviews women in STEM and space around the world.

“Only 6pc of the UK engineering workforce are female, meaning that UK companies are missing out on almost 50pc of their engineering talent. This is coupled with the fact that girls make up under 20pc of students taking physics A-level,” she says.

“My passion, and the goal of my website Rocket Women, is to try and reverse this trend by inspiring girls globally to consider a career in STEM. I think you need those role models out there, tangible and visible, to be able to inspire the next generation of young girls to become astronauts, or be whatever they want to be. I started Rocket Women to give these women a voice and a platform to spread their advice.”

Read the full Silicon Republic article here.

Inspirational women, Media

Rocket Women Featured By Fast Company

26 January, 2016

Vinita Marwaha Madill Featured In Fast Company's Piece On Women In Space

Vinita Marwaha Madill Featured In Fast Company’s Piece On Women In Space – Seen here on-console supporting International Space Station (ISS) operations at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Cologne, Germany [Fast Company]

I’m excited to share that Rocket Women and myself were featured in Fast Company’s recent article “Women In Space Seek More Women In Space“.

The Fast Company piece details:

Prominent women in STEM are ensuring their stories are part of the narrative about space careers—with the explicit goal of attracting more.

Vinita Marwaha Madill, a consultant in space engineering and STEM outreach and the founder of Rocket Women, a website focused on women and space, likewise wants to encourage more women to enter the field. Madill’s career has included stints as an Engineering Manager leading the Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineering Team in Canada, and as an International Space Station operations engineer at the German Aerospace Center, among other things.

On Rocket Women, she posts interviews with women around the world in STEM fields, especially space-related, as well as advice to encourage girls to become involved in STEM.

Rocket Women Featured By Fast Company

Rocket Women Featured By Fast Company

“Watching Helen Sharman’s Soyuz launch on BBC News at a young age, and knowing that there had been a British female astronaut, helped me push through any negativity around my chosen career path when I was younger,” Madill says. “I knew that I wanted to be an astronaut, or at least work in human space flight. And eventually I did. But I wouldn’t have had that impetus and drive if I hadn’t known that someone had come before me. There had been a female British astronaut, and maybe there could be again. It was possible. Through featuring advice and stories of women in STEM, I want Rocket Women to give other girls and women that same realization.”

Other women featured include Natalie Panek, Mission Systems Engineer at MDA (Canada) and Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz, an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago (USA).

Read the full article here

Media

Rocket Women Featured in Leonard David’s Inside Outer Space

21 January, 2016
My Image Motto: Dress For The Job You Want, Not The One You Have

My Image Motto: Dress For The Job You Want, Not The One You Have – Featured on Inside Outer Space

A big thank you to Leonard David for his glowing write up of Rocket Women on his Inside Outer Space website. The article states:

“If you’re a woman looking for inspiration to pursue a career in the space and technology industries, take a look at the Rocket Women website.

The site provides a platform through which women interested in the space and technology industries can gain information about a career and have questions answered.

“My mission is to inspire women around the world and provide advice on working in the space and technology industries,” explains Vinita Marwaha Madill.

Madill has founded Rocket Women. Its aim is to inspire women to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and use those skills to consider a career in the space industry.”

Read the full story here.

Media

Mentioned By ELLE UK As One Of “The Smartest Girl Squads To Bookmark Now”

3 January, 2016

I’m excited to share that Rocket Women was mentioned in ELLE UK as one of “The Smartest Girl Squads To Bookmark Now“! We have some fantastic company including Stemettes, Nasty Gal and Soapbox Science! Thank you ELLE UK, and I hope that the advice that I post here inspires others to work towards their dreams in STEM.

ELLE UK 1

Rocket Women Featured In ELLE UK As One Of "The Smartest Girl Squads To Bookmark Right Now"

Rocket Women Featured In ELLE UK As One Of “The Smartest Girl Squads To Bookmark Right Now”

Media

Rocket Women Featured In Capioca’s Interview Series

28 November, 2015

I’m excited for Rocket Women to be featured in Capioca’s interview series. In the interview I discuss the importance of inspiring the next generation of women in STEM, designing spacesuits and the importance of role models to young girls making defining career decisions.

The full interview can be found here:

Capioca still

Media

Rocket Women Featured In King’s College London’s Alumni Magazine

12 May, 2015

Vinita Marwaha Madill Featured In King’s College London’s In Touch Magazine

London (UK) is the centre of technology, business, finance and also physics, thanks to my alma mater King’s College London (University of London). The university where I completed my Bachelors degree in Mathematics & Physics with Astrophysics, kindly featured Rocket Women in articles on both their online alumni website and in the alumni In Touch print magazine (above). I’ve also been lucky enough to go back to give a lecture to the King’s College London Physics department faculty and students on Future Human Spaceflight Training and Operations at Cumberland Lodge during their annual mentoring event.

Vinita Marwaha Madill giving a lecture to King’s College London Physics department faculty and students on Future Human Spaceflight Training & Operations

A story with the full interview is featured in an article on the King’s College London website: One Small Step For Womankind.

Here’s the text of the shorter In Touch magazine article in the image above:

She hasn’t travelled into space yet, but Vinita Marwaha Madill (Mathematics and Physics with Astrophysics, 2008) wants to make sure there will be women astronauts in the decades to come. “I’ve always been interested in space, and it’s been a passion of mine from a young age,” she says. “I told my physics teacher when I started secondary school in Year 7 that I wanted to do physics at university.” While she has worked for the European Space Agency and currently serves on the leadership team for the Space Generation Advisory Council, an NGO that links university students and young professionals on space policy issues, for now she’s very much on the ground. She works for a Canadian company that’s developing smart road technology through an intelligent traffic light system that can track all vehicles in a city and predict which routes they’re likely to follow.

Following her studies at King’s, Madill earned a master’s in Astronautics and Space Engineering at Cranfield University and a second master’s in Space Management from the International Space University in Strasbourg. “During my time at King’s and the rest of my education, then working at the European Space Agency and the German agency, I met some amazing people – especially other positive female role models,” she says. Her mission & passion is to inspire other women to become involved in the space industry, while at the same time making positive role models more visible to  girls from a young age. Her website Rocket Women (rocket-women.com) is dedicated  to encouraging teenage girls and young women to pursue careers in the space industry, and she regularly speaks at schools. This advocacy prompted the magazine ELLE India to feature her in its recent ‘Geek’ issue, alongside a variety of other inspiring female role models. “You really need those role models out there and visible to be able to inspire the next generation of young girls to become an astronaut, or be whatever they want to be.”

Media

Featured in TechGirls Canada’s Portraits of Strength

8 April, 2015

Vinita Marwaha Madill featured in TechGirls Canada’s Portraits of Strength

I’m honoured to be featured in TechGirls Canada’s Portraits of Strength, stories of role models across Canada to inspire young women.

“I am proud of contributing to a spacesuit programme at the European Space Agency (ESA) that will be worn on the International Space Station (ISS) next year to prevent bone and muscle loss in astronauts, with the potential to be used for long-duration exploration.”

“The biggest obstacle I have faced was overcoming preconceived ideals. I’ve always known that I wanted to work in the space industry, however it wasn’t a career path that was expected. I had to prove to others and myself that it was possible.”

I hope that the work I do inspires girls globally to follow their dreams to study and consider a career in STEM.

TechGirls Canada is a fantastic organisation that provides national leadership and community to the hundreds of non-profit and industry groups working to encourage more girls to consider tech as a career.

Read more of the feature on the TechGirls Canada website: http://bit.ly/1Cb9AUu

Inspiration, Media

Honouring World Prematurity Day

18 November, 2014

My Journey From Premature Baby To Rocket Scientist [The Daily Mirror]  

I was born almost 3 months early, weighing 1lb 10oz with a 10% chance of survival without complications. I truly wouldn’t have survived healthy to achieve my dreams without the utmost dedication and care of the doctors and nurses at Kingston Hospital’s neonatal unit in the UK (and my parents). Thousands of children are born premature worldwide annually, not all lucky enough to be able to have access to the type of intensive care that I had. World Prematurity Day (Nov 18) is celebrated to bring awareness to the tireless work of these wonderful caregivers and to tell the success stories of children born early, giving hope to families with children recently born prematurely. I’m sharing my story to provide that much needed hope to families with premature children and to remind those reading that even if the obstacles ahead seem impossible to overcome, with hard work and dedication it is possible to rise above them and achieve your goal.

Here’s the full text to the above article in the Daily Mirror (UK) and more information on Born Too Soon, a charity that which supports the neonatal unit at Kingston Hospital.

Media

Honoured To Be Featured In The Telegraph’s Women In Space Database

6 November, 2014

I’m truly honoured to be mentioned in The Telegraph’s (UK) Women In Space database! The database features Rocket Women including Valentina Tereshkova (the first woman in space), current astronauts, engineers, educators and space lawyers. The testimonies from the women featured working in the space industry, and those of the pioneers that we follow, will hopefully inspire generations to come.

The Telegraph’s Women In Space Database

Thank you to the team at The Telegraph for creating this fantastic tool and bringing the achievements of women in space to the forefront!

Vinita Marwaha Madill Featured In The Telegraph’s Women In Space Database