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Kalpana Chawla Biography – Life, Career, Awards, Death

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Kalpana Chawla biography

Kalpana Chawla biography: Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian American astronaut and Indian woman to go into space. She was in a Space Shuttle mission specialist in 1997 and was one of a crew of seven passengers killed in the 2003 Columbia space shuttle disaster.

The 87 Columbia Shuttle was completed between 19 November 1997 and 5 December 1997. Her second and last flight began on 16 January 2003 from the Space Shuttle Colombia, but unfortunately, on 1 February 2003, the Colombia Space Shuttle crashed before landing on Earth. 

According to media reports, after the Columbia Space Shuttle took off, the managers knew they would not land safely. It was decided that the seven astronauts would die in the face of death.

But, they did not inform them. It is surprising, but it is true. The program manager of Mission Columbia disclosed this. So this was the short introduction of Kalpana Chawla. Let’s move into the details of Kalpana Chawla biography. 

Early Life of Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla Biography - Life, Career, Awards, Death Kalpana Chawla biography

In Kalpana Chawla biography, we will now discuss her early life. Kalpana Chawla was born on 17 March 1962 in Karnal city of Haryana. Her father’s name is Banarasi Lal Chawla, and her mother’s name is Sanjayoti.

Kalpana was the youngest of four siblings in her family. Kalpana’s early education took place in “Tagore Bal Niketan Senior Secondary School” in Karnal. Since childhood, he has been fond of becoming an aeronautical engineer. Her father wanted to make her a doctor or a teacher, but Kalpana imagined travelling in space since childhood.

 To make his dream come true, Kalpana Chawla enrolled in ‘BE’ to study ‘Aeronautical Engineering’ at Punjab Engineering College Chandigarh and also got the ‘Aeronautical Engineering’ degree in 1982.

After this, Kalpana went to America and, in 1982, enrolled in ‘The University of Texas’ to do a master’s in ‘Aerospace Engineering’. She completed this course in 1984. Her desire to become an astronaut was so strong that she also did her second master’s degree in ‘Aerospace Engineering’ in 1986 and then a PhD in ‘Aerospace Engineering’ in 1988 from the University of Colorado. 

Kalpana Chawla Career 

The next thing to include in today’s Kalpana Chawla biography blog is her Career. In 1988, she began working at NASA’s Ames Research Center as a vice president for Overset Methods Inc. She did research on CFD at V/STOL. Kalpana Chawla was a certified flight instructor for aircraft, gliders and commercial aviation licenses. She also held commercial pilot’s licenses for single and multi-engine aircraft.

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

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His maiden flight began on 19 November 1997 in the space shuttle Columbia (flight number STS-87). During this space journey, there were six team members, including Kalpana Chawla. She became the first Indian woman and the second Indian to travel to space with this flight. Earlier, Rakesh Sharma of India had travelled to space in 1984. 

In her maiden flight, Kalpana Chawla travelled about 10 million miles (equivalent to about 252 revolutions of the Earth). She spent a total of 372 hours in space. During this trip, she was entrusted with setting up the Spartan satellite. 

The satellite did not work properly, due to which two astronauts, Winston Scott and Takao Doi, had to do a spacewalk to capture this satellite. To find out the reason for this error, NASA investigated for five months. It was found that this error was not due to imagination but due to flaws in the software interface and functioning of the flight crew and ground control.

After completing her first space journey (STS-87), Kalpana Chawla was entrusted with the technical responsibility of working on the ‘Space Station’ in the Astronaut Office.

 In 2002, Kalpana was selected for her second space flight. She was included in the STS-107 flight crew of the Columbia spacecraft. Due to some technical and other reasons, this campaign kept on slowing down and finally, on 16 January 2003, Kalpana climbed Columbia and started the STS-107 mission. 

Awards of Kalpana Chawla 

The second last thing we will include in Kalpana Chawla biography is her Awards. 

  • University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) by the Indian Students Association (ISA) for graduating talented students in 2005. Kalpana Chawla Memorial Scholarship Program was established.
  • On 5 February 2003, the Prime Minister of India announced the weather series of satellites, “METSAT”, “Kalpana” will be in the name of  The first satellite of the series is “METSAT-1”, “Kalpana-1” by India on 12 September 2002. It will be launched as “Kalpana-2” is expected to start from 2007.
  • 74 Street of Jackson Heights Queens in New York City has been renamed 74 Street Kalpana Chawla’s Street.
  • A dormitory named Kalpana Chawla Hall was named in her honour in 2004 at the University of Texas (where Chawla received her Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering in 1984).

Death of Kalpana Chawla

Last but not the least section of Kalpana Chawla biography is her death. In this section, we will talk about her death. The second space journey of Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian woman to reach space, proved to be her last. 

After all kinds of research and discussions, the kind of horrific incident that happened at the time of the spacecraft’s entry back into the Earth’s atmosphere has now become a matter of history. It was a traumatic event for NASA and the world. The Columbia spacecraft broke apart on February 1, 2003, entering Earth’s orbit. Soon the remains of the spacecraft and the seven passengers aboard began to rain on a city called Texas, and what was called a successful campaign became a gruesome truth.

Conclusion of Kalpana Chawla biography

So this was the blog about Kalpana Chawla biography. We have shared Kalpana Chawla biography with you. Now it’s your turn to share Kalpana Chawla biography with your friends. Kalpana Chawla completed her dream, but she can’t survive. But this dream makes our country proud, and we salute her for making this contribution to our country. 

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