Daughter of India, the famous Astronaut and the Scientist Kalpana Chawla, was one of the seven crew members who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on February 1, 2003.
Born in March 17, 1962, in Karnal Haryana, Chawla finished her schooling from there after which she got a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh. In 1982, she moved to the United States and pursued a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington, and later in 1988 she got a PhD in the same from the University of Colorado.
In 1988, Kalpana started working in NASA Ames Research Centre. Kalpana’s first space mission on November 19, 1997 on Space Shuttle Columbia flight STS 87 made her the first Indian origin women and the second Indian, after Rakesh Sharma, to go to space.
It was her second space mission in 2003, aboard STS-107, that proved to be fatal for her and the six other crew members. On February 1, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas during its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, just 16 minutes before landing.
A role model for many young women in India and around the world, Kalpana will always remembered for her incredible journey from Karnal, where she was born, to NASA, where she fulfilled her dream of reaching the stars.
India Post released special cover to tribute Kalpana Chawla who dedicated her whole life to scientific and astronomic research and finally laid her life as a supreme sacrifice on the path of human service during the journey of Space Shuttle Columbia.