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Kalpana Chawla – India’s First Woman Astronaut

8129103869
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To reach for the stars is the dream of millions but there are very few who are able to realise it, Kalpana Chawla, India’s first women astronaut, made that improbable dream come true.

Born in a traditional family of Karnal, Haryana, Kalpana had neither the background nor the environment, which favoured a trek to outer space. In fact, she faced opposition from her father and even some of her teachers, but persevered and became an aerospace engineer.


Termed as a terrific engineer by NASA, she went to space not once but twice. In the midst of it all, she remained tied to her roots and was a simple, easily approachable and down to earth person. KC to her colleagues and ‘Kalpana didi’ to all her young friends, Kalpana Chawla inspiring life ended in shattering tragedy when the space shuttle columbia disintegrated in space on February 1, 2003. But her indomitable spirt will speak to us forever.


Charitavali is a series of biographies dedicated to the legendary figures of India. The series presents the lives of great kings, freedom fighters, political thinkers, social reformers, pioneers of industry, eminent scientists, philosophers, artists, musicians, dancers and film stars, writers and sports people.

Author Dilip M Salwi
Language English
Page count 73

Categories: Biographies Engineering Science Science & Technology

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