Kalpana Chawla was first Indian American astronaut and first Indian women to space. She was one of the seven astronauts, who lost their lives while on the ill fated Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, that took place on 1st Feb, 2003.
She has been the role model for many women in India and around the world too, a true legend.
Today on her 13th death anniversary, we remember courageous Kalpana and give you the glimpse her life.
1. Kalpana Chawla completed her early education in Punjab.
After finishing her schooling in Karnal, Kalpana got a ranking in Punjab Engineering College and there she pursued aeronautical engineering.
2. She became a naturalized US citizen in April 1991 and applied for the NASA Astronaut Corps.
Kalpana’s tryst with NASA started when she began to work with NASA Ames Research Centre in 1988 and then in 1995 she joined Corps.
3. In 1997, she became the first Indian-born woman and the second Indian person to fly in space.
4. Her ultimate desire to become an astronaut has been fulfilled. As a child, Kalpana always dreamed of becoming an astronaut and she fulfilled her dream of becoming one. Her family fully supported in her dreams and she eventually went on to become the legend.
5. She was posthumously honored with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, NASA Space Flight Medal and NASA Distinguished Service Medal.
6. Kalpana Chawla logged 30 days, 14 hours, and 54 minutes in space over the course of her two missions. In her mission she flew into Space Shuttle Columbia and her responsibilities included the experiments on micro-gravity. On this around 80 experiments were conducted on earth and then the further experimentation was preceded to space. But that ill fated space shuttle was disintegrated over Texas during re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere causing death of all 7 crew members.
Kalpana Chawla is a legend and always be remembered as a courageous women of India.