Kalpana Chawla Birthday: The Space Bird Who Changed Scientific Narratives Through Incredible Innovations

Kalpana Chawla Birthday: The Space Bird Who Changed Scientific Narratives Through Incredible Innovations

Kalpana Chawla was born on March 17, 1962, in Karnal, Haryana. She is regarded as the first woman to play a leading role in the Space Shuttle Columbia during 1997

Mariyam UsmaniUpdated: Saturday, March 16, 2024, 03:47 PM IST
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FPJ

While the girls were daydreaming on open windows with aspirations of fairytales, Kalpana was already floating in the milky way with enthralling puzzles of the universe, and scientific conclusions to contribute to Incredible Innovations.

Kalpana Chawla was born on March 17, 1962, in Karnal, Haryana and is regarded as a striking astronaut for playing a leading role on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997. Working at the forefront of robotic arm operations, Kalpana contributed to successful scientific endeavors and emerged as a powerful role model for Indian women.

The Journey

Kalpana was always driven by the mysteries of space. In childhood, she attended the flying clubs to see the planes with her father. Thus, after completing her education at Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, she reached the US to fulfil her luminous dreams. She attained expertise at the University of Texas, Arlington, and the University of Colorado, Boulder, with MS and PHD degrees.

First Space Mission

In 1997, Kalpana became a part of the 'Space Shuttle Columbia' and the first Indian woman to explore space with incredible resilience and astonishing contributions.

She not only stepped into an arena that is considered a territory of men but also topped the segment with her intelligence. On the STS-87 mission, she managed the deployment of the 'Spartan Satellite.'

Second Milestone

Kalpana Chawla also participated in the 28th ambitious space mission of Columbia and the STS-107 launch, but due to serious technical glitches, this mission ended up on a catastrophic note. While she completed around 252 orbits of the earth in 1997, the second opportunity turned into a horrid mishap.

After completing the 16-day intensive scientific research mission, the space shuttle fell apart over the city of Texas, and 7 crew members, including Kalpana Chawla, succumbed to death on February 1, 2003.

The Legacy Of Inspiration

In the words of Charles Bukowski, 'Find what you love and let it kill you'. Kalpana devoted her life to the path of her love and passion for science. She received several awards and honors' for her bravery, wit, and incredible work.

Kalpana achieved the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the NASA Space Flight Medal, the Nasa Distinguished Service Medal, and many more awards and medals. The Indian government named a Met-Sat series satellite after Kalpana Chawla in 2002. Apart from this, the 'Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College' was built in Haryana in 2017.

Before she rocked the 'Milky-Way', she was courageous enough to stand by her dreams with strong determination. Her landmarks are an inspiration for the present and future waves of women's empowerment.

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