First Woman Of Indian Origin In Space: Kalpana Chawla’s Biography, Facts, Wiki & More
In this article, you are going to know about the country’s pride Kalpana Chawla.Some interesting facts have been highlighted and her biodata is provided.
|Real Name||Kalpana Chawla|
Physical Stats & More
|Height||in centimeters- 163 cm
in meters- 1.63 m
in Feet Inches- 5’ 4”
|Eye Colour||Dark Brown|
|Date Of Birth||17 March 1962 (Real)
1 July 1961 (Official)
|Date of Death||1 February 2003|
|Death Cause||Space Shuttle Columbia disaster (Accident) which killed all 7 crew members|
|Birth Place||Karnal, Haryana, India|
|Age (as on 1 February 2003)||40 Years|
|Home Town||Texas, U.S.|
|School||Tagore Bal Niketan School, Karnal|
|College||Dyal Singh College, Karnal, Haryana
Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh, India
The University of Texas, Arlington, Texas, U.S.
The University of Colorado, Boulder, U.S.
|Educational Qualification||Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College
Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas
Second Masters and a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado
|Family||Father– Banarasi Lal Chawla
Mother– Sanjyothi Chawla
Sister– Sunita, Dipa, and 1 other
|Hobbies||Reading Poetry, playing Badminton, dancing|
|NASA Missions||STS-87, STS-107|
|Combined Time Spent in Space||31 days 14 hours and 54 minutes|
|Combined Distance Travelled||10.67 million km|
|Awards (Posthumous)||• Congressional Space Medal of Honor
• NASA Space Flight Medal
• NASA Distinguished Service Medal
Boys, Affairs and More
|Affairs/Boyfriends||Jean-Pierre Harrison (flying instructor and an aviation author)|
|Husband||Jean-Pierre Harrison (flying instructor and an aviation author)|
|Marriage Date||Year- 1983|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Kalpana Chawla
- Born in Karnal, Haryana, Kalpana Chawla was the youngest of four siblings. She was born on 17 March 1962. But her official date of birth was changed to 1 July 1961 in order to ease admission procedures.
- She holds an engineering degree in aeronautical engineering from Chandigarh’s Punjab Engineering College (PEC).
- She graduated in 1984 and was one of the four female engineering students of the college. The girls’ hostel at PEC is named after Chawla.
- She started learning karate during her time at PEC.
- Her husband records that she made it a point to learn everything that caught her fancy – including scuba diving and Bharatnatyam.
- Chawla earned a Private Pilot License and flew her private plane in the Rocky Mountains when she could.
- She was inspired by JR Tata and was captivated when she saw one of the crafts he flew for mail flights. She was also a Certificated Flight Instructor for glider and airplanes.
- She met her husband, Jean-Pierre Harrison, in 1982. They married on 2 December 1983. Harison – who runs a publishing house in California – has authored a book about her life, The Edge of Time: The Authoritative Biography of Kalpana Chawla, which was released in 2011. The book reveals many fascinating insights on her life.
- Her first application to Nasa in 1993 was rejected. She applied again the following year and was selected for the 1995 batch.
- In 2003, Harison visited the astronaut’s school and college in India where he refused to garland her statue. He had then revealed to Rediff that Kalpana did not like to be garlanded.
- Chawla spoke to then-Prime Minister IK Gujral during the STS-87 mission aboard Columbia. The then-PM had told her about how proud India was of her feat. Gujral had also asked her to visit India along with the STS-87 mission. However, the visit never took place owing to the then-rocky relations between India and the US.
- Among the many things named after Kalpana Chawla are:
- India’s first weather satellite, the Kalpana 1
- A Nasa Supercomputer
- A planetarium in Kurukshetra, near Karnal
- A hill on Mars
- An asteroid, the 51826 Kalpanachawla, which circles the Sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.