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First Woman to go to Space in India, Know the Name and Profile

First Woman to go to Space in India: Kalpana Chawla

In the realm of space exploration, there exist individuals whose extraordinary journeys transcend the boundaries of Earth, leaving a lasting legacy of bravery and resilience for future generations. Among these exceptional figures, Kalpana Chawla stands out as a shining star. In 1997, India achieved a significant milestone by sending its first astronaut, Kalpana Chawla, into space. She not only became first woman to go to space in India but also etched her name in the annals of scientific history. Kalpana Chawla’s remarkable odyssey, from humble beginnings to the vast cosmos, stands as a testament to the power of dreams and the unwavering human spirit of exploration. This article will delve deeply into the life and career of Kalpana Chawla, a pioneering female astronaut in India.

Early Life

Kalpana Chawla was born on 17th March 1962, in Karnal, Haryana. Kalpana Chawla’s fascination with airplanes and flying began at an early age. She used to visit local flying clubs with her father, gazing at the soaring planes overhead. This childhood fascination ignited her passion for aeronautics and set her on a path that would eventually lead her beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

Educational Life

After completing her early education, she embarked on a path of academic excellence. Kalpana earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Aeronautics Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, India. Her quest for knowledge took her to the United States in 1962, where she obtained a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. She also achieved Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Kalpana Chawla’s NASA Journey

  • In 1988, Kalpana Chawla joined NASA Ames Research Centre as a scientist. She knew a lot about how things move in the air and she was good at it. She even learned how to take off planes and land in a special way. Later, she became a pilot.
  • In 1995, she became a part of special group called Astronaut Corps.
  • In 1997, she got a chance to go to space through a spaceship called, Space Shuttle Columbia STS-87.

A Hero’s Sacrifice

Kalpana Chawla’s greed for knowledge and exploration was insatiable. In 2000, she was selected for her second space mission, STS-107. On 16th January 2003, she embarked on her last journey abroad Space Shuttle Columbia. Tragically, this mission ended in disaster as the shuttle disintegrated during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere on 1st February 2003. Kalpana Chawla, along with six fellow crew members, made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of the scientific discovery.

Legacy

Kalpana Chawla’s bravery and space journey inspired many. Her name lives on in streets, awards and hearts, reminding us that dreams are possible. She showed that with courage and determination, anyone can reach for the stars. Her legacy continues to inspire the generations.

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FAQs

Who was the first woman to go to space?

Kalpana Chawal, from Karnal, Haryana, created history by becoming the first woman in India to go to space in 1997 through a space shuttle called Columbia.

When did Kalpana Chawla make her first space journey?

Kalpana Chawla’s first space journey began on November 19, 1997. She was part of the crew on Space Shuttle Columbia’s flight STS-87.