Published: 22nd December 2021
This 19-year-old LPU student's tryst with NASA might just take her to the stars one day
Jahnavi Dangeti is a student at Lovely Professional University and this is all about her dream to touch the sky
As if it wasn't enough that as a part of NASA Citizen Scientists programme, Jahnavi Dangeti helped discover asteroids in the Kuiper belt, one of which has been named 2020 PR13, now this 19-year-old has achieved another mean feat — she is now the first Indian to have been a part of NASA's prestigious International Air and Space Program (IASP). This five-day programme was conducted in November 2021 at Kennedy Space Center in Alabama, USA, during which, this Lovely Professional University student had the time of her life.
During the educational programme, Jahnavi, who hails from Palakollu in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, was also chosen as the Mission Director for Team Kennedy. She was a part of a 16-member team that was successful in launching a miniature rocket into the sky. "The NASA team will make changes and send it to the International Space Station. The idea was to develop a mechanism that will work in both high and low-temperature environments," share the BTech student who is pursuing her Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) and is in her second year. They were even trained to be astronauts and were given zero gravity and underwater rocket launch training, all under the able guidance of her mentor, naval aviator and former NASA astronaut Kenneth D Cameron.
"The five intense days were like living in isolation," describes the youngster. Only 60 enthusiasts from around the world are selected for the programme and Jahnavi, who is a classical dancer and knows Karate as well, is glad to be one of them. She is delighted to be the first Indian to be selected for this programme.
It's a dream that Jahnavi has nurtured for a long time now, to be an astronaut. And has been chasing it with a quiet passion too. She already has an Advanced Scuba Driving license from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and hopes to get her private pilot license soon too. "My parents are supportive and I hope that soon, I will reach my goal," shares Jahnavi.