NASA picks Athira Preetha Rani for Astronaut Programme; set to be next Indian woman to fly to space after Kalpana Chawla | Tech News

NASA picks Athira Preetha Rani for Astronaut Programme; set to be next Indian woman to fly to space after Kalpana Chawla

Indian-origin woman selected by NASA for its astronaut training programme jointly run by NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and the National Research Council of Canada.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Aug 08 2022, 14:11 IST
NASA
Indian-origin woman gets selected for Nasa astronaut training programme. (Andreas H/Pixabay)
NASA
Indian-origin woman gets selected for Nasa astronaut training programme. (Andreas H/Pixabay)

Indian-origin Athira Preetha Rani has been chosen for NASA's 2022 astronaut training programme. The 24-year-old woman is a Thiruvananthapuram native. If she successfully completes the training that goes for around 3 to 5 years, then Athira would be the next Indian woman to fly to space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams. The training programme is jointly run by the NASA, Canadian Space Agency and National Research Council of Canada. Twelve trainees from across the world are selected for this astronaut training programme. Athira went through various stages including medical tests by NASA.

Who is Athira Preetha Rani?

Athira is a Peyad, Karnataka native. She is daughter of V Venu and Preetha. Athira has been interested in space and astronauts since her childhood. She has attended the classes of Astra, an astronomical society in Kerala's capital city where she met her husband Gokul. Athira later got in at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Canada, at a very young age and studied robotics. According to onmanorama.com, she was on a scholarship there. She wanted to become a pilot, so she started saving money for training to join the airforce. She also did her robotics course with good grades. She married Gokul and the duo started a startup in Canada for research related to space studies. They have also started the Exo Geo Aerospace company. She told the portal that she wishes to do research in bioastronautics after her Nasa astronaut training programme. Athira is the first Keralite to be an astronaut.

Meanwhile, Sunita Williams, former Indian-origin American astronaut and a navy officer, is known for holding records for the longest single spaceflight by a woman at 195 days.She did seven spacewalks in 50 hours and 40 minutes.

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First Published Date: 08 Aug, 14:11 IST
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