An American global aerospace and defense technology company , Northrop Grumman Corporation(Northrop Grumman) has named its next Cygnus Spacecraft, NG-14 as ‘SS Kalpana Chawla’ after Dr Kalpana Chawla, a former NASA(National Aeronautics and Space Administration), United States of America-USA Astronaut. She was selected in honor of her outstanding place in history as the 1st woman of Indian descent to go to space.
- S.S. Kalpana Chawla is the 2nd Cygnus to be named for a member of the STS-107 crew. Rick Husband, Columbia’s last commander, was similarly honored in 2016.
Note– It is the tradition of the company to name each Cygnus after an individual who has played an important role in human spaceflight.
Key Info about SS Kalpana Chawla
i.SS Kalpana Chawla is the next Cygnus resupply ship to be launched to the International Space Station. It will deliver about 8,000 lbs. (3,630 kilograms) of cargo to the station.
ii.It is scheduled to be launched into orbit on the NG-14 mission upon Northrop Grumman Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Sept 29.
iii.It will be attached to the space station two days after it arrives.
Northrop Grumman Antares rocket– It is a 2 stage vehicle with an optional third stage, providing low Earth orbit launch capability for payloads weighing up to 8,000 kg.
Recent Cynus, which was launched in February and departed the space station in May was named the S.S. Robert Lawrence after the 1st African American to be selected as an astronaut.
About Kalpana Chawla
i.Kalpana Chawla began her career with NASA in 1988.
ii.STS-87, was her 1st flight on Space Shuttle Columbia from November 19 to December 5, 1997. This mission was dedicated to science flying as part of the fourth United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-4).
iii.Her 2nd spaceflight, STS-107, met with an accident on February 1, 2003, which killed her and 6 crew members, following 16 days of conducting science on board the space shuttle Columbia.
Recent Related News:
i.Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that Chandrayaan-2 has captured images of Craters of the Moon by Terrain Mapping Camera – 2(TMC-2) and named one of the craters as ‘Sarabhai Crater’ after Indian astrophysicist Dr. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai who is regarded as the Father of Indian Space program so as to celebrate his birth centenary.
ii.On May 20, 2020 The National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) renamed its Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope(WFIRST), a next-generation space telescope as Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope or Roman Space Telescope to honor Nancy Grace Roman(“Mother” of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope), NASA’s 1st chief astronomer, who paved the way for space telescopes focused on the broader universe.
About Northrop Grumman Corporation:
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President– Kathy J. Warden
HeadQuarters- Virginia(officially the Commonwealth of Virginia), United States