NASA Launches Commercial Cargo Spacecraft Named After Astronaut Kalpana ChawlaKalpana Chawla (Photo: Women@NASA/Twitter)

The United States (US)' apex space agency NASA yesterday (2 October) fired off a commercial cargo spacecraft named after the deceased Indian origin astronaut Kalpana Chawla, reports Economic Times.

Named S.S. Kalpana Chawla, the rocket launched off from the mid-Atlantic regional spaceport (MARS) located at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility based in Virginia at 9.30 pm EST and it will arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) after a journey of two days, with a cargo of approximately 3,630 kilograms.

Reacting to the launch of S.S. Kalpana Chawla spacecraft, late astronaut's husband Jean Pierre Harrison said, "I would say Kalpana would be very flattered that this rocket is named after her." He also added that the launch had a larger context, that Indians could compete with the rest of the world.

It should be remembered that Chawla was the first-ever woman of Indian-origin to reach the space. Born in Haryana, she went on to join NASA and become a successful astronaut. She made the supreme sacrifice to her dedication for space research and exploration, inspiring many.

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