New Delhi: On 17th March 1962, the first woman of India orgin space – Kalpana Chawla was born in Karnal.
She would have attained the age of 55 today had it not been for the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on February 1, 2003 which led to her death and six other astronauts.
On her birth anniversary today, we bring you some facts about the Indian astronaut whose achievements continue to inspire many.
She began her career in 1988 when she worked at NASA Ames Research Center where she did Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research on Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing concepts. Kalpana joined Overset Methods, Inc. as Vice President and Research Scientist specialising in simulation of moving multiple body problems before being a part of the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1995.
She died at the age of 40, in the space shuttle sixteen minutes before landing on earth. The spacecraft was on its 28th mission, and the sudden accident was caused by a damaged aluminium heat-insulating tile on the left wing of the shuttle.
Here is her last video message to all Indians.