Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian Woman to go into space. She flew on NASA’s spacecraft “Columbia” in the year 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator. Kalpana was born on 17 March 1962 in Karnal, Haryana (India). She died in a tragic accident when her spacecraft was disintegrated while returning to the atmosphere of Earth on 1 February 2023. All seven astronauts including Kalpana Chawala onboarded on Columbia spacecraft died in this accident.
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Facts About First Indian Woman to Go to Space
- Kalpana Chawala was born on 17 March 1962
- She went into space two times and spent 30+ hours.
- Kalpana went into space first time on 19 November 1997 when she boarded Space Shuttle Columbia mission STS-87 with 5 other astronauts.
- Kalpana Chawala finished 252 orbits of the Earth in 15 days and 16 hours on her first space mission.
- In 1994, Kalpana was selected as an astronaut in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
About Kalpana Chawala
Kalpana Chawla was born and raised in Karnal, Haryana. She was fascinated by Airplanes from her childhood. Kalpana graduated from Panjab Engineering College in Aeronautical Engineering. She got her master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas, and a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado. She got married to Jean-Pierre Harrison in 1983. Later, NASA selected Kalpana Chawala as an Astronout in 1994.
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How Kalpana Chawala Died?
On 1 February 2003, Kalpana and the other six astronauts, Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, David M. Brown, Michael P. Anderson, and Laurel B. Clark, boarded the “Columbia” spacecraft of NASA. The spacecraft broke apart while entering the Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in the deaths of all crew members, including Kalpana Chawla.
First Woman into Space
Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to go to space on 16 June 1963. She was from Russia (then Soviet Union). Tereshkova was just 26 years old when she launched into space in Vostok 6 spacecraft.
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Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian woman to go into outer space on 19 November 1997. She was born and raised in Karnal, Haryana.
Yuri Gagarin from the Soviet Union was the first human in space on 12 April 1961.
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