An 18-year-old from West Bengal has become the youngest Indian to be selected for NASA’s prestigious Goddard Internship Programme.
Sataparna Mukherjee, a class 12 student from Kamduni, is one of five scholars from across the world chosen for this programme.
In April 2015, she had written a paper on the Black Hole Theory and how it could be used to create a time machine. She posted it on NASA’s website. The paper caught NASA’s attention.
“It all started in May last year, when I was a member of a group on a social networking site where there were many members, including some scientists. One day I shared some of my thoughts on the Black Hole Theory, and one of the members of this group gave me NASA’s official website and told me to post my findings, which I did. I am very happy to get this opportunity,” she said to The Times of India.
The representatives of the space agency wrote to her father Pradip Mukherjee, a primary school teacher, last month.
“First, I thought it was a fake email. We’re on cloud nine after an association of scientists and British Council confirmed that the offer was genuine. It’s an all-expense-paid programme,” Pradip said to Mumbai Mirror.
She will study at Oxford University, where she will pursue graduation, postgraduation, and a Ph.D in aerospace engineering at NASA’s London Astrobiology Centre. NASA will fund her education and will also pay her a generous honorarium every month.
Sataparna has also won a full scholarship in English Literature. She had applied for this separately and plans to study literature alongside the NASA programme.