The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has dismissed claims made by an 18-year-old Class XII student from a village near Kolkata that the US space agency has selected her for its prestigious Goddard Internship Programme under the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). Nasa has stated that it has no record of anyone by the name Sataparna Mukherjee being granted a scholarship, reports The Huffington Post.
The Times of India had earlier reported that Sataparna Mukherjee was among the five scholars chosen from across the world for the GIP, a programme which selects five exceptional individuals from across the world every year and funds their entire education after school.
However, in a revelation made to The Huffington Post, Michael Cabbage, associate chief for communications, Nasa GISS, clarified that it does not have any record of anyone by that name being granted an internship or scholarship.
While Mukherjee claimed that she will pursue her graduation, post-graduation and PhD (as Nasa faculty) in aerospace engineering at its London Astrobiology Centre, Nasa clarified that it does not have any such facility in London and its internships are awarded to students who are US citizens.
Criticising media outlets for not verifying the basic facts of this story, The Wire said that Mukherjee's Black Hole Theory is misleading as well as misinformed.
When Nasa's clarification came to light, Mukherjee told DNA that the US space agency is denying the claim because of a confidentiality agreement and that Nasa has sent her flight tickets to London.
Mukherjee's father, Pradeep, who is still under the impression that Satparna will be flying to London told The Huffington Post, "We are just applying for the visa now."