Meet India’s Missile Woman, Tessy Thomas, Inspiration For Everyone



India’s space and rocket technology rapidly growing and developing new techniques. Former President Abdul Kalam is also known as “Missile Man”, inspired millions of Indians and now a woman is inspiring everyone and got the name India’s Missile Woman. 

Tessy Thomas broke the norms and became the first woman who is leading the missile project. The woman has proved themselves in every aspect of life but breaking into rocket science is really an amazing achievement, a field dominated by males.


Tessy Thomas

Tessy also appeared in IAS exams and she could have been an IAS officer. But she cracked an interview with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and asked to join immediately. Acclaimed as Missile woman and ‘Agniputri’ Born on fire.

Tessy has joined the DRDO in 1988 and she was associated with several projects. She played a very important role in long-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile, the Agni-V. Agni V was one of the most ambitious missile projects in India.


Let’s Have A Closer Look At The Journey Of Tessy Thomas, The Woman Whose Achievement Will Inspire Not Only Women But Men Also.

Born in a small district of Kerala, Alappuzha. Tessy’s father was an IFS officer and mother was a housewife. Tessy’s fascination for rockets and missile started from childhood. Her home was not so far from Thumba rocket launching station. Eventually, her childhood fascination led her towards the full-time career of Scientific researchers in rocket science.

Tessy started her journey with a degree in engineering from Thrissur college. After finishing her bachelor’s degree she immediately joined Pune’s Institute of Armament Technology. here she met her future husband Saroj Kumar Patel, currently working as a commodore in Indian navy. the future scientist took shape in this institute.

Tessy didn’t stop here and she further pursued MBA in Operations Management and a Phd.D. in Missile Guidance.


Tessy Thomas

After joining DRDO she worked under the great role model for entire India, APJ Abdul Kalam. APJ inspired her and put her into the Agni V project which eventually became the most important milestone in Tessy’s life.

Extremely hard working and dedicated Tessy Thomas gave all her experience and knowledge and played a vital role in developing the Agni-V’s multiple targetable re-entry vehicles. This was what helped the intercontinental ballistic missile withstand tremendous velocity and temperature of 3,000 degrees Celsius on re-entering the atmosphere.

In 2006 same missile failed to meet the desired parameters. It was a major set back for the entire organization and scientists who worked hard to make it successful. Tessy stood for this challenge and in a short span of 10 months, all errors eliminated. 


A woman like Tessy is not just an example of excellence but sacrifice too. Tessy left her child unwell while the launch of Agni V.

In a glowing tribute in 2008, The Indian Woman Scientist’s Association said,

“We feel Tessy Thomas serves as a role model and an inspiration for women scientists to achieve their dreams and have their feet planted in both worlds successfully.”

She won several prestigious awards including the DRDO Scientist of the year in 2008, DRDO Performance Excellence Award for 2011 and 2012, India Today Women of the year in 2009, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration in 2012, CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2012, Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya Award in 2016 and Outstanding Woman Achiever Award by Women in Science and Engineering.


Tessy Thomas

She also participated in recent Global entrepreneurship summit 2017 and after her speech Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra said,

“Tessy deserves to be more famous than the biggest Bollywood star. A poster of Tessy in every Indian school will wreck stereotypes and create enormous career aspirations for girls.”

Its a proud moment for every Indian and we all should take inspiration from our own Missile Woman.

Women are achieving new heights in every field. Here are some other women who made everyone proud.

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