Kalpana Chawla – the name itself carries the significance of women empowerment and a glorious space future that a middle-class nation like India had always been looking for. Kalpana Chawla was the first India woman to take wings to space and today, in her 54thBirthday, the entire nation has paid a rich and magnificent tribute to its first female astronomer.
On this day in 1962, Kalpana Chawla was born. She was the first Indian-origin woman to fly in space and also the second Indian to do so. Kalpana Chawla – the name that leaves the entire nation and all Indians with superiority and pride – would have been 54 years today, if she was alive. During the disaster of Space Shuttle Columbia, happened on 1st February 2003, Kalpana Chawla along with six other astronauts breathed their last breath. On her 54thbirth anniversary today, India is lauding her for her premium and incredible achievements and acknowledging for being a pathmaker for future Indian space enthusiasts.
On the auspicious occasion of her birthday, multiple honours have been presented to the first space lady of the country. The government has named an asteroid and a satellite after the name of Kalpana Chawla. Similarly, a hill located in the Columbia Hills on Mars was also dedicated to the magnificent personality of India was named after her. Now the Martian Hill is known as Chawla Hill. Along with these honours, she was rewarded with the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, Congressional Space Medal of Honor, and NASA Space Flight Medal and as well.
Kalpana Chawla was born in Karnal, Haryana on 17th March 1962 and died on 1st February 2003. Because of her out of the ordinary expedition from a small village of Karnal to the Us-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Kalpana Chawla is projected as a role model for every woman across the world. The first space mission of Chawla started on 19th November 1997, where she was appointed as one of the six onboard astronaut crews of the Space Shuttle Columbia flight STS-87. Following astronaut Rakesh Sharma who took wings on the Soyuz T-11 rocket in 1984, Chawla was the first Indian-origin female astronaut and the second Indian to take to the air.
On her 54th Birth anniversary, all most all social media platforms are flooded with the praises, posts, photos, and tweets about Chawla. However, Twitterati is found to post their tweets with the hashtag, KalpanaChawla, for acknowledging the courageousness and splendour of Kalpana Chawla.
In the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997, Chawla was appointed as a mission specialist and chief robotic arm operative. During the Space Shuttle Columbia catastrophe, Chawla along with six other crew members was killed on 1st February 2003. Only 16 minutes before the landing of the shuttle on earth, the space probe unexpectedly caught fire and broke up, killing all on board astronauts including Chawla.