Young Odia Astronaut Discovers Asteroid, Findings Recognised By NASA

Nabarangpur: Odia girl Banita Dash has brought laurels to her native state. Banita’s flair towards astronomy has led to tracing the location of a asteroid.

Banita is a native of Nabarangpur district and studies at Navodaya Vidyalaya in Madhya Pradesh’s Amarkantak in Anuppur district. She is reportedly the first Odia school student to have discovered an asteroid.

Banita joined the Khagolshala Asteroid Search Campaign (KASC) in January this year. Khagolshala Asteroid Search Campaign or KASC trains students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas to detect asteroids.

Banita discovered the asteroid using a telescope located at Hawai. The asteroid has been recognised by NASA, Hardin-Simmons University and International Astronomical Search Collaboration. “This is the first and major stepping stone towards my dream to be an astronaut,” she said.

The location, path and property of Banita’s discovery will be studied by international organisations for the next six months.  “Our daughter’s efforts have paid off. She is very hardworking and sincered towards her goals,” Banita’s parents said. The asteroid will be named after this young Indian, reports added.