In a shocking revelation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has denied selecting Sataparna Mukherjee, the 18-year-old girl from West Bengal, for the NASA Goddard Internship Programme (GIP).
Earlier, Mukherjee hogged the media limelight after she claimed that she has bagged the prestigious scholarship.
“Regardless of her performance in the ISC exams, she will be going this August to Oxford University and complete her graduation, post-graduation and doctoral thesis as Nasa faculty. All her expenses, including food and lodging, will be covered by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS),” a media report had suggested
NASA denied it by saying, “We have no record of anyone by that name receiving an internship, scholarship or any form of academic or financial assistance from any NASA institute, centre or program”.
Mukherjee had also claimed that the internship would allow her to pursue a PhD in Aerospace Engineering at “NASA’s London Astrobiology Centre,” however, NASA said that they do not have any facility in London and the internship is awarded to US citizens only. A Facebook post, by Ayoti Patra,
had also pointed out that only US citizens are eligible for the GIP internship.
When told about NASA’s denial, she said: “They are denying it because we had signed a contract which said we cannot divulge anything relating to the internship program. It’s extremely confidential and now that it is out in the open, they are denying it.”
The teenager had also claimed that her theory on black holes and time travel that she had posted on a social networking site had impressed some scientists who asked her to apply. She said she would now proceed to Oxford to study astrobiology and English literature alongside.
Surprisingly, all these claims were taken seriously by numerous media outlets.