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Kalpana Chawla 'Kalpana Chawla' ( July 1 , 1961 - February 1 , 2003 ) was an astronaut and space shuttle mission specialist

of STS-107 ( Columbia ) who was killed when the craft disintegrated after reentry into the Earth's atmosphere . Early Life Chawla was born in Karnal , Haryana , India . Her interest in flight was inspired by J. R. D. Tata , India's first pilot. Education Chawla studied aeronautical engineering at the Punjab Engineering College in 1982 where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree. Thereafter she moved to the United States to obtain a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering from University of Texas ( 1984 ). Dr. Chawla earned a doctorate in aerospace engineering from University of Colorado in 1988 . That same year she began working for NASA 's Ames Research Center . Kalpana Chawla became a naturalized USA citizen, and married Jean-Pierre Harrison, a freelance flying instructor. Chawla held a certified flight instructor's license with airplane and glider ratings, and has commercial pilot's licenses for single and multiengine land and seaplanes. NASA Career Dr. Chawla entered NASA's astronaut program in 1994 and was selected for flight in 1996 . Chawla's first mission to space began on November 19 , 1997 as part of the 6 astronaut crew that flew the Space Shuttle Columbia Flight STS-87 . Chawla was the first Indian-born woman in space, as well as the first Indian-American in space. (She was the second person from India to fly into space, after cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma who went into space in 1984 in a Soviet spacecraft.) On her first mission Chawla travelled over 6.5 million miles in 252 orbits of the earth, logging more than 375 hours in space. During STS-87, she was responsible for deploying the Spartan Satellite which malfunctioned forcing two other astronauts to go on a spacewalk to capture the solar satellite. A five-month NASA investigation blamed the error on the flight crew and ground control. She was fully exonerated (although this did not stop some reporters from making direspectful comments about her involvement in the mishap in the days after her death in the explosion of the final Columbia mission). After being selected for a second flight, Chawla lived at the Lyndon B Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas , undergoing extensive training. Chawla's mission got delayed in July 2002 when NASA engineers identified three cracks on the shuttle's second engine's liquid hydrogen flow liner. Over six months later the shuttle was cleared and she returned to space in the ill-fated STS-107 mission. Chawla was dedicated to the scientific goals of SPACEHAB/FREESTAR microgravity research mission, for which the crew conducted nearly 80 experiments studying earth and space science, advance technology development, and astronaut health and safety.

Personal Characteristics Chawla was a strict vegetarian . On her mission, she carried a white silk banner as part of a worldwide campaign to honor teachers, as well as nearly two dozen CDs, including ones by Abida Parveen , Yehudi Menuhin , Ravi Shankar , and Deep Purple . She went to her first rock concert, a Deep Purple show, in 2001 with her husband. "Kalpana is not necessarily a rock music aficionado," her husband said of a Deep Purple show they went to in 2001. "But (she) nevertheless characterized the show as a 'spiritual experience.'" The administrator for the Hindu temple in Houston where Chawla attended when her schedule permitted said "She was a nice lady ... and very pious." Memoria Shortly after her last mission, India renamed its first weather satellite 'Kalpana-1' in her honor. She died a hero and a role-model for many young women, particularly those in her hometown of Karnal where she periodically returned to encourage young girls to follow in her footsteps. Her brother, Sanjay Chawla , remarked "To me, my sister is not dead. She is immortal. Isn't that what a star is? She is a permanent star in the sky. She will always be up there where she belongs."

Kalpana Chawla Born On: July 1st, 1961 Born In: Karnal in Haryana Died On: February 1st, 2003 Career: Astronaut, Aeronautic Engineer Kalpana Chawla was India's first women aeronautical engineer to travel into space. She has been a role model to several women in terms of achievement and contributions to the field of aeronautics. Growing up in a male dominant society, Kalpana never let her dreams of flying be affected in any way. In fact she was the first woman to study aeronautical engineering in her batch. Some of her memorials are: the Kalpana Chawla Award given by the Karnataka Government, a dormitory named after her in the University of Texas at Arlington from where she did her Masters and a planetarium in Haryana. This sheds light on her meritorious and outstanding achievements. Even though her death was sudden and unfortunate, she left a mark in the nation and will be remembered forever. Read the following sections to know more about this dynamic personality, her career and life. Early Life Kalpana Chawla was born on the 1st of July, 1961 in a small town in Karnal located in the state of Haryana. Her parents, Banarasi Lal Chawla and Sanjyothi had two other daughters named Sunita and Deepa and a son named Sanjay. Kalpana was the youngest in her family and hence, she was the most pampered too. She got educated at the Tagore Public School and later enrolled into Punjab Engineering College to complete her Aeronautical Engineering Degree in 1982. In the same year, she moved to the US. She got married to Jean-Pierre Harrison in 1983. He was her flying instructor and an aviation author. In 1984, she completed her M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas in

Arlington. In 1988, she obtained a Ph.D. in the same subject from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Career Kalpana Chawla was a certified flight instructor who rated aircrafts and gilders. She also held a commercial pilot license for single and multi-engine airplanes, hydroplanes and gliders. Kalpana was a licensed Technician Class Amateur Radio person certified by the Federal Communication commission. Owing to her multiple degrees in Aerospace, she got a job in NASA as the Vice President of the Overset Methods, Inc. in 1993. She was extensively involved in computational fluid dynamics research on Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing. It was not until 1995 that she became a part of the NASA 'Astronaut Corps'. Three years later, she was selected for her first mission i.e. to travel around the Earth in a space shuttle. This operation consisted of six other members. Kalpana was responsible for organizing the Spartan Satellite but she was unsuccessful in her role due to its malfunction. It was found that due to technical errors, the satellite defied control of ground staff and flight crew members. Following this, she was vindicated. On the other hand, Kalpana Chawla created history for being the first Indian woman to travel in a space shuttle. She had the privilege of journeying as far as 10.4million km. This approximately adds up to 252 times around the Earth's orbit that comprised of 372 hours in space. After the Spartan Satellite incident, she was given a technical position. Her excellent work was recognized and awarded. In 2000, she was again assigned on her second flight mission as a part of Flight STS-107. Kalpana's responsibility included microgravity experiments. Along with her team members, she undertook a detailed research on advanced technology development, astronaut health & safety, the study of Earth and space science. During the course of this mission, there were several mishaps and cracks were detected in the shuttle engine flow liners. This delayed the project until 2003. Death It was on February 1st 2003 that the space shuttle, STS-107, collapsed over the Texas region when it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere. This unfortunate event ended the lives of seven crew members including Kalpana. Achievements and Accolades Despite living in America, Kalpana Chawla was considered the pride of India. She was the first Indian woman to travel in a space shuttle for 372 hours and complete 252 rotations around the Earth's atmosphere. Her achievements have been an inspiration to many others in India and abroad. There are many science institutions named after her. During her lifetime, Kalpana Chawla was awarded with three awards namely the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, NASA Space Flight Medal and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. Timeline 1961: She was born on 1st July in Karnal. 1982: She moved to the United States to complete her education. 1983: Married a flying instructor and aviation author, Jean-Pierre Harrison. 1984: got an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas in Arlington. 1988: She received a Ph.D. in the same field and began to work for NASA. 1993: Joined Overset Methods Inc. as Vice President and Research Scientist. 1995: She joined the NASA 'Astronaut Corps.

1996: Kalpana was the mission specialist for prime robotic arm operator on STS-87. 1997: Her first mission on Flight STS-87 took place. 2000: Assigned on her second mission as part of Flight STS-107. 2003: Chawla got a second chance for the mission on Flight STS-107. On February 1st, she died when the space shuttle broke down. Kalpana Chawla was an Indian-American scientist and a NASA astronaut who make all of us proud.

Profile of Kalpana Chawla

Birthplace of Kalpana Chawla she was born in Model Town Karnal in a Punjabi family. She was inspired by the by J. R. D. Tata a pioneering Indian pilot and industrialist. Date of birth of Kalpana Chawla she was born on March 17, 1962 She was born in Punjabi Family, parents of Kalpana Chawla Banarasi Lal Chawla and Sanjyothi are very simple people. She had two elder sisters (Sunita & Deepa) and a brother (Sanjay). Husband of Kalpana Chawla in 1963 she met with Jean-Pierre Harrison, a flying instructor and aviation writer and married to him. She becomes the United States citizen in 1990.

Education of Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla completed her schooling from Tagore Public School, Karnal. In 1982 she earned her B.E. degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh. In 1982 she moved to the United States and obtained a M.S. degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas , Arlington (1984). She also got a second M.S. degree in 1986 and a Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering in 1988 from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

NASA career of Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla was joined the NASA astronaut corps in March 1995 and she got selected for her first flight in 1998 as part of the six astronaut crew that flew the Space Shuttle Columbia flight STS-87. She travelled over 10.4 million miles in 252 orbits of the earth, logging more than 360 hours in space. She selected for her second flight as part of the crew of STS-107 in 2000 but because of some scheduling conflicts and technical problems mission was delayed. On January 16, 2003 she finally returned to space aboard Columbia on the ill-fated STS-107 mission and this was her last mission.

Death of Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster which occurred on February 1, 2003, when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, with the loss of all seven crew members. Her last visit to India was during the 1991 1992 New Year holiday. Though Kalpana Chawla is not more in this world but she will remain in the heart of many people as an inspiration. Lots of colleges, hostels and other memorials are made on the name of Kalpana Chawla to honor her. We at also salute her for making all of us proud and keep the name on India high.