Hyderabad: Jahnavi Dangeti grew up listening to 'Chandamama Kathalu' and other stories from her grandmother. One day she hoped to reach the stars and she may be on her way to making her dreams come true.

This 19-year-old girl from Palakollu in West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, was recently selected for the International Air and Space Programme (IASP) at NASA Launch Operations' Kennedy Space Centre, Alabama (USA). She was the first Indian to be part of the five-day programme conducted in November 2021.

Only 60 young people from all over the world were selected for IASP.

Speaking to NewsMetre, Jahnavi says, "Reaching the stars was my dream since childhood when I heard stories told by my grandmother in Palakollu. I couldn't have achieved this without the support of my parents."

She adds, "My dream is to become an astronaut and get my private pilot license soon."

Jahnavi is pursuing BTech in electronics and communication engineering from Lovely Professional University. She was chosen as a mission director for Team Kennedy, leading a group of 16 people from several countries.

The team completed the astronaut programme and was involved in activities, including zero gravity, multi-access training, underwater rocket launch, and also operated an aircraft for the first time. Jahnavi's team successfully launched and landed a miniature rocket.

Jahnavi also operated an aircraft Cessna 172 for the first time as part of her training under the able guidance of her mentor, naval aviator and former NASA astronaut Kenneth D. Cameron.

Ashok Mittal, the Chancellor of Lovely Professional University, is thrilled by Jahnavi's achievement. "For our student to be the first person of Indian origin to ever get selected for the programme is a matter of great pride for all of us," he said.

Sri Lakshmi Muttevi

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