Born: 17 March 1962, Karnal, Haryana
Death: February 1, 2003, over Texas
Scope of work: Astronaut, Space shuttle mission specialist

Kalpana Chawla was an Indian-American astronaut and space shuttle mission specialist. She was the second Indian and the first Indian woman to go into space. Kalpana was one of the seven astronaut crew members killed in the 'Columbia spacecraft disaster'. Kalpana's first space flight STS 87 The Colombian shuttle was completed between 19 November 1997 and 5 December 1997. Their second and last flight began on 16 January 2003 with the Space Shuttle Colombia, but unfortunately on 1 February 2003, the Colombia Space Shuttle crashed before landing on Earth, killing all 6 passengers of the spacecraft, including Kalpana Chawla.

Early Life

Kalpana Chawla was born on 17 March 1962 in Karnal, Haryana. His father's name is Banarasi Lal Chawla and mother's name is Sanjyoti. Kalpana was the youngest of four siblings in her family. Kalpana's early education took place at the "Tagore Bal Niketan Senior Secondary School" in Karnal. Since childhood, he was fond of becoming an aeronautic engineer. His father wanted to make him a doctor or teacher, but Kalpana used to imagine traveling in space from childhood.

To realize his dream, Kalpana Chawla enrolled in BE in Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh to study 'Aeronautical Engineering' and also got a degree in 'Aeronautical Engineering' in 1982. Kalpana then moved to the US and in 1982 joined the University of Texas to pursue a master's in aerospace engineering. He successfully completed this course in 1984. His desire to become an astronaut was so strong that he also did a second postgraduate in 'aerospace engineering' in 1986 and then a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado in 1988. Also completed.


In 1988, he started working at NASA's Ames Research Center as a Vice President at Overset Methods Inc. There he did research on CFD in V / STOL. Kalpana Chawla was a certified flight instructor for aircraft, gliders and commercial aircraft licenses. He was also licensed as a commercial operator for single and multi-engine aircraft.

In 1991, Kalpana Chawla acquired US citizenship and applied for NASA Astronaut Corp. In March 1995, he joined NASA Astronaut Corp and was selected for the first flight in 1996.

Their first flight began on 19 November 1997 in the spacecraft Columbia (flight number STS-87). The crew had a total of 6 members, including Kalpana Chawla, during this space trip. With this flight, she became the first Indian woman to travel to space and the second Indian. Earlier, Rakesh Sharma of India traveled to space in 1984. In his first flight, Kalpana Chawla traveled about 10 million miles (which was equivalent to about 252 revolutions of the Earth). He spent a total of 372 hours in space. During this trip, he was assigned the responsibility of installing the Spartan satellite, but the satellite did not function properly, which led to two astronauts Winston Scott and Takao Doi taking a spacewalk to catch the satellite. NASA investigated for 5 months to find out the cause of the disturbance, after which it was found that the fault was not due to imagery but due to flaws in the software interface and functioning of the flight crew and ground control.

Kalpana Chawla was entrusted with the technical responsibility of working at the space station in the Astronaut office after completing the activities associated with it after her first space trip (STS-87).

In 2002, Kalpana was selected for her second space flight. He was included in the STS-107 flight crew of the Columbia spacecraft. For some technical and other reasons, the campaign continued to retreat and finally on January 16, 2003, Kalpana climbed Columbia and started the STS-107 mission. The flight team's responsibilities included miniaturization experiments for which the team conducted 80 experiments and through which earth and space science, advanced technology development and astronaut health and safety were also studied. Other passengers of the imagination in this expedition to the Columbia spacecraft were Commander Rick D. Husband, Pilot William C. Macool, Commander Michael P. Anderson, Ilan Ramon, David M. Brown and Laurel Clarke.

Columbia astronaut accident and Kalpana Chawla's death

India's second female astronaut Kalpana Chawla's second space trip proved to be her last trip. At the time of its return after all the research, the Columbia spacecraft shattered as it entered the Earth's atmosphere, and the spacecraft and all the seven passengers on board were destroyed. Not only NASA but it was a painful event for the whole world.

TimeLine (Life Events)

1961: Born on 1 July in Karnal, Haryana

1982: Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College Chandigarh

1982: went to America for further studies

1983: Married flight instructor Jean Pierre Harrison

1984: Master of Science in 'Aerospace Engineering' from Texas University

1988: Researched in the subject of 'aerospace engineering' and Ph.D. Received and started working for NASA

1993: Joined Overset Methods Inc. as Vice President and Research Scientist

1995: Joined NASA's Astronaut Corp

1996: She went on board the STS-87 of Columbia spacecraft as a Missiona Specialist

1997: He made his first flight into space by the Columbia spacecraft STS-87

2000: Kalpana was selected for her second space trip, the STS-107 trip to the Columbia spacecraft.

2003: On February 1, the Columbia spacecraft crashed over Texas while entering Earth's circle, killing all 6 astronauts on board.