She spoke these words in the acoustic space, “You are just your intelligence.”
Her fascination for space and aeroplanes took her to the heights beyond common people even think of. An Indian female astronaut who made it to the space. It’s proud moment for all us Indians.
She’s one of the few Indians who made us proud in space exploration quest. Yes, we are talking about Dr. Kalpana Chawla, the first and the only women to fly to the space.
- She chose her own name. Her parents were way too busy in everyday activities she herself finalised her name at the time of school enrolment. “Monto” was the original nickname given by her parents. She chose “Kalpana” i.e. the imagination.
- She was the only Indian lady to go to space. India as the history suggests low corner for women. Now a days the situation has been changed way too much. The great great Dr. Kalpana Chawla is the first and the only Indian lady to go to the space.
- She earned her Ph.D in Aerospace Engineering from University of Colorado in 1988.
- She was born in a family were the hard work was encouraged. Her parents moved to Karnal from Multan after partition of India & Pakistan. Her father practised many small businesses to support his family.
- She’s been felicitated with posthumous awards the “Congressional Space Medal of Honor”, the “Nasa Space Flight Medal” and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.
- She became official U.S. Citizen in 1991 and applied for NASA Astronaut Corps [Unit of NASA that select, trains and provides astronaut crew members.]; She got her first space flight opportunity in 1996.
- Her first space flight took place in 1997 in the “Space Shuttle Columbia.”
- She was the certified licensee for single and multi engine aeroplanes. Her love for flying earned her the reward of becoming first Indian lady to fly high above the sky.
- She got her second space mission in 2001. That deadly space mission.
- On this day in the history on 1st of February 2003 she took her last breathe in Space Shuttle Columbia along with other 6 crew members.
We meet with many people. Some good some bad. Some become good memories. Some make us cry. Some make us proud. She was one of them. Salute!