Kalpana Chawla was a very special person who was the first woman from India to go to space. She went to space twice and even though she died in an accident in 2003, she is remembered for being brave and inspiring. People have named streets, universities and other places after her to show how much they admire her.
Kalpana Chawla was born in Karnal, India in 1961. She had a passion for science and technology from a young age and was determined to pursue a career in the field. She moved to the United States to pursue her dreams and graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Aerospace Engineering.
In 1997, Kalpana became the first Indian-American woman to be selected as an astronaut by NASA. She completed two space shuttle missions and was the first Indian-born woman to go to space. On her second mission, she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia.
Unfortunately, in 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred and Kalpana was among the astronauts who lost their lives. She was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and her name was included in the list of astronauts who gave their lives in the pursuit of space exploration.
In her honor, streets, universities, and institutions have been named after her. Her legacy continues to inspire generations of women around the world to pursue their dreams and reach for the stars.