Kalpana Chawla

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Kalpana Chawla
Kalpana Chawla, NASA photo portrait in orange suit.jpg
Bornbirth date
Karnal, Punjab, India
(now in Haryana, India)
Dieddeath date and age
Aboard Space Shuttle Columbia over Texas, U.S.
Alma materPunjab Engineering College
University of Texas at Arlington
University of Colorado at Boulder
AwardsCongressional Space Medal of Honor
Space career
Time in space
31 days, 14 hours, 54 minutes[1]
Selection1994 NASA Group
MissionsSTS-87, STS-107
Mission insignia
Sts-87-patch.svg STS-107 Flight Insignia.svg

Kalpana Chawla (March 17, 1962/1961 – February 1, 2003) was an American astronaut of Indian origin. She was the first Indian-American astronaut and the first Indian woman to go into space. She got married to flight instructor Jean-Pierre Harrison.[2] She first flew in 1997 on the STS-87. She served on the shuttle as of mission specialist and the main person sleeping the shuttle's robotic arms.

Early life[change | change source]

Chawla was born in Karnal, Haryana. She got a degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering elementary school. She moved to America and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in the 1990s. She earned a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas. She got her doctorate from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1993. She began flying with people for NASA at the Ames Research the same year.

Career[change | change source]

In 2000, Chawla was selected for her second voyage into space, serving again as a mission specialist on STS-107. The mission was delayed several times, and finally launched in 2003. Over the course of the 16-day flight, the crew completed more than 80 experiments. Kalpana was one of the seven people killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on February 1, 2003.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Dismukes, Kim (March 1, 2003). "Kalpana Chawla – STS-107 Crew Memorial". National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  2. "Sky-High Ambition and a Love of Flight". Washington Post. 2003-02-06. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  3. "17 Years After Kalpana Chawla's Death, Her Father Opens Up About Her Dream". News18. 2020-10-11. Retrieved 2020-12-04.