The first Indian woman in space, astronaut Kalpana Chawla was born on March 17, 1961.
Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian-American astronaut, who desired to travel the distant horizons and fulfilled that too. Growing up in a dominant male society, she never let her dreams of flying be affected in any way. Her wish came true when she first flew on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997. She has been a role model to several women in terms of achievement and contributions to the field of aeronautics. Here are some interesting facts about this meteor of aerospace:
On her 56th birth anniversary, here are some interesting facts about the eternal voyager:
*Kalpana was born on March 17, 1962, in Karnal, Haryana
*She acquired her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh in 1982
*In 1982, she moved to the United States for higher studies. There, she obtained a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1984
*In 1988, she began working at the NASA Ames Research Center, where she did Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) research on Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing concepts
*In 1997, Kalpana first flew on Space Shuttle Columbia STS-87 as a mission specialist
*Kalpana was the first Indian-American astronaut and the first India-born woman in space
*She got married to Jean-Pierre Harrison in 1983, who was a flying instructor and an aviation author
*She was certified as a commercial pilot license for the seaplanes, multi-engine airplane, and glider. She also was a Certificated Flight Instructor for glider and Airplanes
*On her first mission, Kalpana traveled over 10.4 million miles in 252 orbits of the earth, logging more than 372 hours in space
*In the year, 2000, Kalpana was selected for her second flight as part of the crew of STS-107. The mission got repeatedly delayed and Kalpana returned to space on January 16, 2003
*On February 1, same year, Kalpana Chawla died along with all six other crew members in the Space Shuttle Columbia on the ill-fated STS-107 mission
*Shortly before it was scheduled to conclude its 28th mission, STS-107, the Space Shuttle disintegrated over Texas during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, leading to the death of all the seven crew members.