Village boy selected for NASA astronaut programme to be rewarded

A teenaged village boy, selected by NASA for its astronaut training programme, will be rewarded by the Haryana government.

Chandigarh: A teenaged village boy, selected by US` National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for its astronaut training programme, will be rewarded by the Haryana government, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said Friday.

The Haryana government will honour Ashish Kumar with its Pratibha Samman, said Hooda, adding he will also get a reward of Rs.150,000 for his achievement, he said, according to a statement here.

Ashish, who is from Dhaulera village of Mahendergarh district and passed his class 12 exam from Nangal Chaudhary village, and his father Radhey Shyam met Hooda in New Delhi Friday.

Before his selection for the three-year training programme of NASA recently, he had also cleared IISAT (Indian Institute of Space Aeronautics and Technology) competition organized by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). He also cleared Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance examination and got the 112th rank.

With his goals clear in his mind, Ashish said that he wants to do something for his country in the field of space science.

For the Astronaut Training Programme, NASA had selected only 10 candidates across the world. Three of them, including Ashish, are from India. The three-year training programme will be conducted in Washington at the NASA premises.

The first Indian-origin woman astronaut, Kalpana Chawla, was also born and brought up in Haryana`s Karnal town, 130 km from here.

Chawla went on two NASA space missions in board spacecraft Columbia in 1997 and 2003. She died with six other astronauts February 2003 as the Columbia space shuttle bringing them disintegrated on re-entry into the Earth`s atmosphere.


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