An American commercial cargo aircraft that will soon be embarking on the journey to the international space station, has been named after late Indian astronaut Kalpana Chawla.
The decision was taken by global aerospace company, Northrop Grumman, which is based out of the US.
Their next Cygnus capsule will be named 'S.S. Kalpana Chawla', in memory of the first Indian woman to travel to space.
Today, @NorthropGrumman named the next #Cygnus spacecraft launching to @Space_Station in honor of astronaut Kalpana Chawla, the first woman of Indian descent to go to space: https://t.co/ncUSaSaESd— NASA (@NASA) September 8, 2020
Liftoff is targeted for Sept. 29 from @NASA_Wallops. pic.twitter.com/Ss6ZoSZDbT
Northrop Grumman, an American global aerospace and defence technology company, announced that its next Cygnus capsule will be named the “S.S. Kalpana Chawla”, in memory of the mission specialist who died with her six crewmates aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 2003. pic.twitter.com/fASzKOt62J— Shreya Tripathy (@ShreyaTripathy5) September 10, 2020
Divulging more details about the same, the company noted on its website:
Northrop Grumman is proud to name the NG-14 Cygnus spacecraft after former astronaut Kalpana Chawla. It is the company's tradition to name each Cygnus after an individual who has played a pivotal role in human spaceflight.
It also posted this tweet to make the announcement.
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
In 1997, Kalpana Chawla became the first woman of Indian descent to go to space. Today, her legacy lives on in the naming of @NorthropGrumman's newest Cygnus spacecraft.— [email protected] (@WomenNASA) September 8, 2020
Learn more about her career @NASA: https://t.co/BtjoTO9iq8 pic.twitter.com/dg44ZFcBBN
Kalpana Chawla and 6 other crew members died in 2003, when the Space Shuttle Columbia (OV-102) burned to ashes while entering the Earth's atmosphere.