Photo gallery: Meet the top Indian-origin scientists in NASA
"None of our astronauts traveled a longer path to space than Kalpana Chawla. She left India as a student but she would see the nation of her birth, all of it, from hundreds of miles above." President George W. Bush spoke about Chawla’s achievements after she tragically died on Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003.
Dr. Sharmila Bhattacharya is one of the top Indian-origin scientists at NASA. She is currently studying immune changes during spaceflight and effects of radiation and altered gravity on living systems at NASA Ames Research Center. When Sharmila Bhattacharya was six years old, she asked her father if she could be a pilot even though she was a girl. He replied: “You can be absolutely anything you want to be.”
Maharashtra-based Manisha Ganeshan is an Atmospheric Scientist for NASA Goddard. Born and raised in Mumbai, Manisha Ganeshan’s life changed forever when the catastrophic Maharashtra Floods hit in 2005. Although she and her family were okay, Ganeshan experienced a “wakeup call” and decided to study climate change.
Indian-origin Mamta Patel Nagaraja really has done it all — from training astronauts to designing scientific instruments, to now communicating NASA's discoveries to the public. “You can do it all. You can be a great mom and a great employee and a great wife and a great daughter, sister, friend,” she says.