NASA launches SS Kalpana Chawla Cargo Spacecraft
Features of the Spacecraft:
- NASA launched a commercial spacecraft
named after Indian Origin deceased NASA Astronaut “Kalpana Chawla”,on October 2, 2020.
spacecraft carried 4 tonnes of cargo including refined radishes for the
International Space Station.
- The spacecraft was built by a Virginia based company
- It currently holds space station resupply contract with NASA.
- It is an aerospace and defence technology company.
- The company has named the
space craft after Indian born astronaut Kalpana Chawla who died along with six
other astronauts in 2003 Columbia Space Shuttle tragedy.
Kalpana Chawla: A Fact file
- The spacecraft carried a new space toilet called the
Universal Waste Management System.
- The 23 million USD commode is to be tested
for future use in the International Space Station.
- It is 65% smaller and 40%
lighter than the current toilet at the International Space Station.
- It also
carried a radish-growing experiment to learn about survival and feasibility of
growing plants in space.
- The space craft has also carried cancer treatment technique
requisites to test cancer drugs in micro gravity conditions.
- Chawla was the first India-born woman to enter space.
also flew in 1997 as a primary robotic arm operator and also as a mission
- The Columbia spacecraft disintegrated during its return to earth
that led to the death of the crew.
- The hot plasma entered the wing of the
aircraft resulting in loss of control.
- Chawla is regarded as the National Hero of India.
- She was born in Haryana and moved to the US in 1982 to
obtain a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering.
- The Government of Karnataka instituted Kalpana Chawla Award
in 2004 to recognise young women scientists.
- An Eoan asteroid in the outer
Asteroid belt of solar system has been named after Chawla.
- The meteorological series of satellites of India was renamed
as “Kalpana” in 2003 by the then PM Vajpayee.