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Kalpana Chawla’s Death Anniversary: Know why the 1st Female Indian Space Traveller was special…

Kalpana Chawla death anniversary falls on February 1. The day is observed with sadness as it was on this day when Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian-origin woman to enter into space, passed away along with her crewmates in the year 2003. 

Kalpana was one of the seven astronauts in the space shuttle, Columbia, which was exploded over the southern United States during its re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

According to NASA, the spacecraft was just 16 minutes away from the scheduled landing when the disaster occurred. EBNW Story revisits the daughter of India’s journey beyond the planet. 

Kalpana Chawla Early life

Kalpana was born in Haryana’s Karnal in 1962 she being the youngest of four siblings. She has had a fascination for astronomy from an early age. 

As she had interest in aeroplanes since childhood, she took to NASA following a Master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas, in 1984. 

Graduating with a degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College, she went to Texas for her Master’s, following which she gained a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado. 

Kalpana Chawla final flight

In 2003, Kalpana’s final mission was the STS-107, which was a 16-day mission dedicated to science and research in space. NASA says that its six-membered Columbia crew performed 80 experiments before the start of the mission.

February 1 marks the death anniversary of the woman who pioneered as an Indian woman in space and was the second Indian to travel beyond Earth’s atmosphere, second only to Rakesh Sharma. 

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