The National Aeronautics And Space Agency (NASA) has long since relied on the expertise of individuals from varied nationalities and ethnicities and Indians have played a major strategic role in the agency’s space exploration efforts.
Indian scientists, with their inventions and discoveries, have contributed mainly to the country’s development. In different eras, the nation has had its share of esteemed scientists who have helped put the country on the world map. There are also many Indian scientists who, with their intelligence, have played a major role in changing the world, making India proud. We’ll take a look at some top Indian scientists who associated with NASA’s American Space Agency
1. Sunita Williams
In India, Sunita Williams became a household name, only being NASA’s second Indian-American Female Astronaut. But what helped her gain international recognition was when she recorded a female astronaut’s longest cumulative spacewalk time with 50 hours and 40 minutes on seven additional things, as well as a woman’s longest spaceflight.
Sunita Williams also has received several awards, including a Legion of Merit, a Navy and Marine Corps Accomplishment Medal, and a Navy Commendation Medal for Humanitarian Service Medal.
2. Ashwin Vasavada
Ashwin Vasavada is currently a senior scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and holds a PhD in Planetary Science. He has led the Roving Mars scientists on the MSL mission and has also served, among many other career accomplishments, on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission.
Vasavada has also received many awards, including the JPL People Leadership Award (2017), the NASA Outstanding Achievement Medal (2013), the NASA Community Achievement Award, and many more, for his various contributions.
3. Meyya Meyyappan
Meyya Meyyappan is the Chief Exploration Technology Scientist at the Center for Nanotechnology at NASA. He is a founding member of IWGN, which is responsible for the creation of the National Initiative on Nanotechnology. In peer-reviewed journals, Meyyappan has published and co-written over 320 articles and has also delivered numerous Plenary Talks on nanotechnology subjects worldwide.
Meyyappan has received a Presidential Meritorious Award for his accolades, the NASA Excellent Leadership Medal, the IEEE-NTC Pioneer Award in Nanotechnology, and many more.
4. Kalpana Chawla
In the past two decades, few names have captured of Indians. Kalpana Chawla was born in Karnal, Haryana, and went on to get a degree from Haryana Engineering College in aero-nautical engineering. She emigrated to the United States and in the 1980s she became a permanent resident. She began working for the NASA Ames Centre after receiving subsequent degrees from the University of Colorado and Texas.
The space shuttle depressurized and broke when returning to the atmosphere and ended up killing everyone on board. For their influence on space exploration, they will all continue to be honored and respected.
5. Kamlesh Lulla
At the American Space Agency, Kamlesh Lulla is among the most internationally acclaimed scientists. He holds two Ph.D.s, as well, Degrees in Environmental Science and Remote Sensing Geoscience.
He has been assigned to many chief scientific positions during his career, including the International Space Station Program, Earth Observations and Remote Sensing of the Space Shuttle Program. The NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the Ellison Onizuka Award and the NASA Achievement Medal are some of his biggest accomplishments.
6. Dr Suresh B Kulkarni
After spending a lifetime creating rocket components, Dr Suresh B Kulkarni leads a quiet retirement life and ensures their successful execution and launch. Kulkarni has been recognized by NASA for 55 successful NASA Rockets launches under Space Shuttle Program as the ‘Rocket Man‘ by friends and family for his penchant for continuing to talk about rockets, missiles and space launches.
The IIT Kharagpur graduate who worked with private company Thiokol till 2003, as well as designing several Rocket and Missile components for initiatives, including the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile System.