Washington: Aerospace company Northrop Grumman Corporation has named its next space station resupply ship after Dr. Kalpana Chawla, an astronaut of Indian descent.
The NG-14 Cygnus spacecraft is named as S.S. Kalpana Chawla. It is the company’s tradition to name each Cygnus after an individual who has played a pivotal role in human spaceflight. Chawla was selected in honor of her prominent place in history as the first woman of Indian descent to go to space,” Northrop Grumman said in a statement.
Today we honor Kalpana Chawla, who made history at @NASA as the first female astronaut of Indian descent. Her contributions to human spaceflight have had a lasting impact. Meet our next #Cygnus vehicle, the S.S. Kalpana Chawla. Learn more: https://t.co/LBjGbl2Tbv pic.twitter.com/5pVAxaujRb
— Northrop Grumman (@northropgrumman) September 8, 2020
The company tweeted, ‘Today we honor Kalpana Chawla, who made history at NASA as the first female astronaut of Indian descent. Her contributions to human spaceflight have had a lasting impact. Meet our next Cygnus vehicle, the S.S. Kalpana Chawla’.
The Cygnus spacecraft will deliver approximately 3,629 kg (8,000lb.) of cargo to the space station. The S.S. Kalpana Chawla will be launched into orbit from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Wallops Island, Virginia.
Kalpana Chawla began her career with NASA in 1988 when she went to work for the Ames Research Center in California. Chawla’s work at Ames centered on powered-lift computational fluid dynamics, which involves aircraft like the Harrier.
She graduated from Tagore School, Karnal, India, in 1976 and received a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from India’s Punjab Engineering College in 1982.
She moved to the United States to go to graduate school at the University of Texas-Arlington, where she received a master’s degree in aerospace engineering in 1984.