Kalpana Chawla, 1962-2003

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Woman Category: Science & TechnologyWoman Tags: Astronaut, Engineer, The Pioneering Women of the National Mall Neighborhood, and WDC Metro Area Women

  • HerStory
    Kalpana Chawla, 1962-2003

    The first Indian-American female astronaut to go to space.

    Kalpana Chawla was born in Karnal, India. When she was only 20 years old, after getting a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Aeronautical Engineering, she moved to the US. There she earned a double master’s degree and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. At 26, she started working at NSA as a researcher of computational fluid dynamics, and then as a vice president and research scientist specializing in simulation of moving multiple body problems.
     
    Two years later, Chawla joined the NASA Astronaut Corps, and at age 36, she made her first air mission, making history as the first Indian origin woman and the second Indian person to fly in space.
     
    In her second mission to space, in 2003, Chawla died along with six other crew members when the space shuttle, Columbia, broke apart while reentering the atmosphere of earth, an event known as the ‘Columbia Disaster.’ She was 41 years old.
     

    “Do something because you really want to do it. If you’re doing it just for the goal and don’t enjoy the path, then I think you’re cheating yourself”

    “Do something because you really want to do it. If you’re doing it just for the goal and don’t enjoy the path, then I think you’re cheating yourself”

     


    Another Interesting Anecdote:

    • She was married once and never had children.
    • As a child, she liked to draw pictures of airplanes, go to local flying clubs, and watch planes with her father.
    • Streets, institutions, universities, awards, and scholarships, both in India and the US, were named in her honor.
    • An asteroid and an Indian satellite were named after her.
  • More About Her Legacy
    Creations By and About Her:

    * Books about her

    Awards:

    * The Congressional Space Medal of Honor

  • Watch and Learn More
    Kalpana Chawla, 1962-2003

  • One of Her Landmarks

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  • Kalpana Chawla, 1962-2003

    Watch this film on Kalpana Chawla, first Indo-American in Space

    Watch this film on Kalpana Chawla, first Indo-American in Space.

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/DoordarshanNational

  • NASA photo portrait. Photo credit - Wikipedia.

  • Citations and Additional References:
    NDTV website.
    Wikipedia page.
    Space.com website.


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