14 Interesting Facts About Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana chawla, the first Indian-American astronaut had a robust desire to travel distant horizons. Growing up in a male dominant 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 Kalpana Chawla-

Kalpana chawla

Image: wikipedia

1. Early Life

Kalpana_Chawla_as_ChildBorn on March 17, 1962, in Karnal, Haryana. She belonged to an average middle class family. Being raised in a society where boys are favoured and girls expected to be obedient and docile, Kalpana decided to beat the odds and follow her dreams with the support of her mother.
Source: iloveindia.com, image: indianetzone.com

2. Educational background

kalpana chawla schoolShe did her earlier schooling from Tagore Baal Niketan Senior Secondary School, Karnal and completed her B.Tech in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College at Chandigarh in 1982. Although, she never scored the highest marks in her class, but was always among the first five.
Source: wikipedia, image: rediff.com

3. Her move to US

Targeting NASA, she moved to the US in 1982 and obtained a Msc degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1984.
Source: wikipedia

4. Kalpana/Monto

Monto was the name given to Kalpana by her parents but she chose her own name. Monto beacame her nick name.
Source: rediff.com


5. Marriage

kalpana chawla with husbandShe got married to Jean-Pierre Harrison in 1983, who was a flying instructor and an aviation author.
Source: iloveindia.com, image:imglop.com

6. Her hobbies

Kalpana liked poetry, dancing, cycling and running at sports events and was invariably first in all the races. She often played badminton and dodge ball with boys.
Source: rediff.com

7. Her dream

STS-107_Chawla_and_ClarkIn order to be an astronaut she decided to have higher education. In 1986, she attained another master degree. In 1988, she completed a PhD in aerospace engineering from University of Colorado at Boulder.
Source: myinterestingfacts.com, image: wikipedia

8. At NASA


She got the position of Vice President of Overset Methods, Inc at NASA  Research Center.
Source: myinterestingfacts.com, image: cns-alumni.bu.edu

9. Vice president at NASA

kalpana-chawla-inside-the-space-shuttleAfter being the vice president at NASA, she was assigned to make Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research on Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing concepts.
Source: myinterestingfacts.com, image: science.ksc.nasa.gov

10. Certified Flight Instructor

Kalpana ChawlaShe was certified with a commercial pilot license for the seaplanes, multi engine air place and glider. She also was a Certificated Flight Instructor for glider and airplanes.
Source: myinterestingfacts.com, image: blog.scientificworld.in

11. Astronaut Corps status

After becoming a US citizen in 1991, she applied for the membership of NASA Astronaut Corps .
Source: myinterestingfacts.com


12. Award’s

For her excellent services, she achieved many awards such as Congressional Space Medal of Honor, NASA Space Flight Medal and NASA Distinguished Service Medal.
Source: wikipedia

13. Tragic death

kalpana-chawla-inside-the-space-shuttleOn February 1, 2003, along with 7 crew members, she died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster which happened when the Space Shuttle disintegrated over Texas during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Source: wikipedia, image: i.space.com

14. Spoken Word

Kalpana said after her first launch, “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.”
Source: deccanchronicle.com