Lesser known Facts On Kalpana Chawla’s Death Anniversary


Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian woman of India to fly to space, she was born in Karnal in 1962. Among the seven crew members who died in the disaster, she was also presented. The incident took place when Columbia disintegrated during its re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere in 2003.

Before her death, she had said that after her death, her ashes would be either scattered over the Himalayas or the Zion National Park in Utah.

Here are some lesser-known facts about her:

  1. Kalpana Chawla’s inspiration was India’s first licensed pilot JRD Tata.
  2. She started working at NASA  in 1988 and became a US citizen in April 1991. Later she applied for NASA Astronaut Corps and joined there in 1995.
  3. In 1997, she was a  part of a crew of 6 astronauts, who were on the mission Space Shuttle Columbia. This mission made her the first Indian-origin woman and the second Indian to fly in space.
  4.  She was chosen as the crew in STS-107, Three years after her first flight. After much delay, the mission commenced in 2003. Unfortunately, the 16-day flight that took off on January 16 collapsed 16 minutes before landing in the earth’s atmosphere.
  5. Chawla learned Bharatanatyam, karate, and scuba diving.
  6. Her first application to NASA was rejected in 1993 and was accepted after she applied again in 1995.
  7. Here are a few things named after the Kalpana Chawla: A NASA supercomputer, a hill on Mars, an asteroid, a planetarium in Kurukshetra, and India’s first weather satellite called ‘Kalpana 1’.

Five inspirational quotes by Kalpana Chawla were:

  1. “I stopped thinking about it after trying to figure out what are the lessons learned, and there are so many. After I had basically sorted that out, I figured it’s time to really look at the future and not at the past.”
  2. “This planet below you is our campsite, and you know of no other campground.”
  3. “When you look at the stars and the galaxy, you feel that you are not just from any particular piece of land, but from the solar system.”
  4. “The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it. Wishing you a great journey.”
  5. “The coolest thing for me is the experience of floating and not feeling my weight. And hanging by a window just after sunset and watching the stars in the big black dome of the sky as the earth moves underneath.”

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