“Every great story happened when someone decided not to give up.” -Spryte Loriano
Standing testimonial to the above quote is Odia girl and entrepreneur Sushmita Mohanty. Recently anointed as ‘Interstellar Indian’ by Fortune magazine, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was latest in the line of VIPs and dignitaries who congratulated Mohanty on this stellar recognition.
“She is more than a role model. She is the real epitome of talent and capabilities of the ‘Odia jhia (girl)’. The prestigious Fortune magazine calls her a Global Indian and has featured her in its cover. I congratulate her and wish her all success in her dreams and pursuits. I am sure she will continue traverse the infinite boundaries of space with her acumen,” said CM Naveen Patnaik.
Mohanty earned the honour for her celebratory contribution in revolutionising India’s space programme and transforming it into a commercially profitable enterprise. In her path to achieve the same, the high achiever has founded three space related ventures on the way. Her latest venture that is currently gaining major traction all around the world is Earth2Orbit [E2O]. India’s first private space startup, E2O facilitates satellite launches for various countries, international organisations and companies using Indian launch vehicles such as PSLV of ISRO.
E2O belongs to a new generation of companies worldwide that are spearheading a New Space revolution. Empowered by advances in payload and transport technologies, New Space entrepreneurs are exploring opportunities with new launch vehicles, affordable small satellites, and taking initial steps to realize “out there” frontiers of space-based power generation and extraterrestrial mining.
Mohanty launched her first company MoonFront, an aerospace consulting firm in San Francisco, USA in 2001. Her second company, LIQUIFER, an aerospace architecture and design firm, came three years later in 2004. She came back to India with her third venture, Earth2Orbit. Before taking the entrepreneur route, Susmita worked in business development for the International Space Station program at Boeing in California. She has also worked on Shuttle-Mir missions at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Educated in India, France and Sweden, Susmita holds multiple degrees. She has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Gujarat University and a Master’s in Industrial Design from the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India. She has a Master’s in Space Studies from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France and a PhD in Aerospace Architecture from the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. Susmita got a job with NASA after graduating from ISU.
Mohanty has a vision of unlocking the unexplored potential of the Indian space sector so that the country with the second largest population in the world can get at least a quarter of the $300 billion global space market.