An America based commercial spacecraft has been named after fallen NASA astronaut Kalpana Chawla. Chawla was the first Indian woman to enter space. The Northrop Grumman group made an announcement declaring that their next Cygnus capsule will be named, “S.S. Kalpana Chawla”.
The company took to Twitter to reveal the news, “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,” the group said.
The S S Kalpana Chawla capsule is set to launch for the NG-14 mission on September 29. According to sources, the spacecraft is expected to arrive at the space station in two days. The mission will deliver about 3,629 kg of cargo to the station.
Chawla was born in Karnal, Haryana on March 17, 1962. She led STS-87 as the mission specialist of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1996 while becoming the first Indian woman to enter space. However, she lost her life in 2003 during the STS-107 mission when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during its return to earth.