Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla was an Indian-born American astronaut and engineer who was the first woman of Indian origin to go to space. From a young age she had dreamt to see beyond the limit. She first thought of becoming a pilot, after she had qualified, she was hired as a research scientist at NASA. In 1994, she was selected by NASA for training as an astronaut. The idea that she could be an astronaut came from her desire to follow her dreams.

How Did Kalpana Chawla Die?

During the launch of its 28th Earth-orbiting mission, a piece of insulating foam broke off and struck the left wing. On re-entry, the damaged wing allowed superheated gases to penetrate, breaking the orbiter apart. This lead to the death of Kalpana Chawla and the other crew member on the spacecraft. Her last words were “ I Love you India”.

Uttam Raj