MemberMay 25, 2021 at 12:02 am::
Many of us wish to reach out and touch the stars. However, only a small percentage of us persist in pursuing our ambitions. We leave them out of fear of the future and nervousness over the unknown. Kalpana Chawla, an Indian woman astronaut, achieved her goal of becoming the first Indian woman in space. – Space queen.
She was born in Karnal on March 17, 1862. In 1982, she got her B.E degree. in the specific filed of Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh. In 1984, she completed her master’s degree at the University of Texas. She went on to complete another master’s degree and then a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado.
She began as Vice-President of Overset Methods at NASA Ames Research Centre in 1988. She did experiments on landing and take-off fluid dynamics.
She was also a certified flight instructor and pilot. In 1991, she became a US citizen. As a result, she applied to join NASA’s Astronaut Corps. She enlisted in 1995 and flew for the first time in 1996. She said in the weightlessness of space:
“You are just your intelligence.”
She had traveled 10.67 million kilometers, the equivalent of 252 times across the Earth. Her first space flight was onboard the space shuttle Columbia on November 19, 1997, as part of a six-person crew. She spent 372 hours in space during this flight. She was tasked with launching the Spartan Satellite.
She took over operational duties in the space station after completing this mission. Her colleagues praised her work. She was chosen for her second flight in 2000, as part of the STS 107 crew. She and other passengers boarded the plane on January 16, 2003. She conducted research on Earth and space exploration, as well as technological advancement and astronaut safety and health.
On 1st February 2003, the shuttle disintegrated over Texas before re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts.
She received many awards after her death like the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, NASA Space Flight Medal, and Distinguished Service Medal. The University of Colorado’s Kalpana Chawla Outstanding Recent Alumni Award was renamed in her honor. A comet, a mountain on Mars, a constellation of Indian satellites, and a NASA supercomputer are all named after her.
The Haryana government founded the Kalpana Chawla Planetarium in Kurukshetra. In 2013, a medical college was named after her and opened in her hometown. She died young, but she left an indelible mark on the hearts of young people who want to live a meaningful life. Her spirit inspires one to take chances and not be fearful of obstacles.
She was a rare gem, and the void left by her passing could never be filled. Her brother put it this way: