Short Note on Kalpana Chawla Short Biography

Short Note on Kalpana Chawla

She was born in Karnal, Haryana. She obtained a level in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering elementary faculty.

She moved to America and have become a naturalized U.S. citizen within the 1990s. She grasped diploma in aerospace engineering from the college of Texas.

kalpana space shuttle

She obtained her doctorate from the University of Colorado in 1993. She started flying with individuals for NASA on the Ames Research the identical 12 months.

Kalpana Chawla Death Reason

Kalpana Chawla,  died on February 1, 2003, in an accident in the space shuttle Columbia somewhat over Texa, United Status, while approaching to earth, in an accident.

It is just after 9 a.m. at Cape Canaveral. At the Command Center in Houston, the first wave of panic takes over. Kalpana Chawla Husband – Jean Pierre-JP,  response to their last message from mission control had been aborted midway. All communication with Columbia got disconnected.

However, it is a routine when a spaceship re-enters the earth's atmosphere. Jean Pierre-JP to those who know him to is aware that this is commonplace. However, successive calls go unanswered. At about the two-minute mark, before touchdown, JP does not hear the expected double sonic booms of the shuttle overhead.

As the minute pass, the silence becomes deafening. For the first time, the ground crew feels that something has gone wrong. On television screens across the world, the white streak has turned to a series of white spots in the sky. At this moment speculative ideas began to trade-in media about Kalpana Chawla death reason.

The first fearful questions have begun doing the rounds; phones are ringing all over the world and what can be the Kalpana Chawla Death Reason. At the landing site, officials with cellphones glued to their ears are exiting the viewing area. The worst is feared.

The world does not have to wait until the official word is out. Columbia has blown up, and its debris is raining down on the southern states of Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas.

It is darkness at noon. At the Kennedy Space Center, workers hunch over their terminals in complete shock, while at the same time, family members of the crew are being herded together at Cape Canaveral. Shuttle contingency is declared. In the Houston home of Kalpana, her family stares in disbelief at the television screen.

Monty won't be coming home. And, in her hometown, the party for the schoolchildren is over. Instead, the stunned inmates of Tagore Bal Niketan join one billion countrymen in mourning their brightest star. An abrupt end to a space journey for six other brave astronauts too.

But in her wake, forty-one-year-old Kalpana leaves behind many unanswered questions. What made it possible for this petite girl from Karnal to successfully undertake such an incredible journey that spanned not only continents but also cultures and finally ended in space? Unlike what many others would have done, Kalpana had chosen to come out of the comfortable cocoon of a well-to-do family, preferring instead to explore the world, taking the challenges as they came.

Overcoming a host of prejudices, this five-foot-tall, slightly built girl, armed with only her radiant smile and fierce determination, had managed to realize her dream. Therein lies one of the most compelling stories of our times, one that begins in a house in downtown Karnal in 1961.

Kalpana Chawla Short Biography

Father: Banarasi Lal Chawla

Mother: Sanjyoti.

In 1961, the household of Banarasi Lal Chawla, in Karnal, was expecting the arrival of a baby. By the persistent kicking in the stomach, Sanjyoti, going by midwife tales, felt that it was probably going to be a boy—she already had two daughters and a son. But lo and behold, the fourth member born to Banarasi Lal and Sanjyoti Chawla turned out to be a very energetic baby girl. It wouldn't be the last time that Kalpana would surprise her parents.

The Chawla household had only recently moved to Karnal. Banarasi Lal, like thousands of others in the wake of the Partition riots, had trekked across from Pakistan, with precious little of his own. Only those with grit eventually made it and, more importantly, we're able to put the bloodshed behind them and move on with their lives.

For Banarasi Lal, then a teenager, and his family, the first stop after leaving Gujranwala in Pakistan was Ludhiana. As refugees, they had to begin from scratch, and Chawla senior, along with other members of the family, started on a host of businesses, including selling wares as a street hawker.

With each change in occupation, he started nudging up the social ladder. The progress was slow, till the extended family finally moved to Karnal. They took up a two-storeyed house in the middle of the town, close to the family business, which at that time was merchandise in clothes. A little later, the family took to the company of manufacturing tyres, which turned out to be very lucrative.

Through all this, the Chawla household retained its spirituality. Banarasi Lal's parents had abdicated worldly existence and moved into a little house on the outskirts of Karnal town to spend their last years in spartan life. The religious attitude in the family was secular.

While Banarasi Lal himself read the Guru Granth Sahib, his wife Sanjyoti followed to the preaching of Pune-based Swami Rajneesh. As far as food was concerned, the household was uniformly vegetarian, a habit Kalpana retained even years later when she went up in space as an astronaut.

The years of struggle were not lost on Montu, as Kalpana came was popularly known affectionately known in family circles. Though by then the family business had begun to thrive, the basics-never let up in your effort-were never forgotten.

From virtually nothing, her father had built up a lucrative business and had even received a laurel from the President of India for an indigenously designed machine to manufacture tyres. Just before the Columbia launch.

Her easy-going nature and by then radiant smile masked the extent to which the child had absorbed her father's experience. It would be many years before the family would first realize how this slightly built, the dark-eyed girl had imbibed the family traits of grit and determination.

Time and again, after that, the baby of the family would prove unflinching in her resolve-something that would come handy in surmounting the barriers that Montu faced growing up as a girl child in the state of Haryana. Speaking to friends who had dropped in to offer condolences at the Houston home of Kalpana, her mother said, ‘Kalpana was born in our family, but she had a mind of her own.'

Kalpana Chawla Childhood in Karnal, Haryana.

Kalpana Chawla’s childhood was spent in the town of Karnal, Haryana, which lies on the Grand Trunk Road, halfway between New Delhi and Chandigarh. Located along the west bank of the river Yamuna, the town and its adjacent areas have a legendary history linked to it, dating back to the Mahabharata.

Legend has it that neighboring Kurukshetra-also in Karnal district—was the battlefield that launched the famous war of Mahabharata between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. Centuries later, the town's penchant to be associated with history has not changed.

Growing up in the sleepy town of Karnal was quite an experience. For girls to be given the privilege of studying was rare, and not many families encouraged the idea. According to Kalpana's contemporaries from Karnal, a fifty-strong class would be hard-pressed to have even five percent girl students-a far cry from the average has seen today. In the Chawla household, however, there was an enormous premium on academic prowess. Elder sister Sunita was already a trailblazer, setting a benchmark as it were.

By the time Kalpana came of age, money was no longer an issue in the family. At the same time, the family was not keen to send her to a school far from home. So they opted for Tagore Bal Niketan, which was located in the vicinity of the Chawla home. Captain D. Sharan, who grew up in an adjoining village and is now a pilot with Indian Airlines he was, in fact, piloting the aircraft that got hijacked to Kandahar-recalls that Tagore School was among the best that the town could offer.

‘Women were never encouraged to study at that time, he recalled. ‘In one class you would have only about three or four girls. For a girl in Karnal to get through (academically) was next to impossible. For that matter, even for a man, it was not easy.' He should know, having cycled every day to go to college and later to the local flying club for his first lessons in aviation.

Kalpana Chawla Education

Kalpana Chawla School: Tagore Bal Niketan

Kalpana Chawla College: Dayal Singh College

kalpana interview

Tagore Bal Niketan was not the best school in town, yet it was unique in the way it was founded and run. At Tagore Bal Niketan, Kalpana's class had only fifteen students. Most classmates remember her as a shy individual. Though she never stood first in class, she stayed among the first five.

Her energies were now increasingly towards raising the bar as it were. Her upbringing in a small town and her measured victories against tradition would be valuable lessons, as helpful as the support she drew from her female mentors, not the least from her mother. Given the family's conservative background, Kalpana skipped the better option in Dayal Singh College and opted instead for her pre-university from D.A.V. College in Karnal.

It was only in the second year (equivalent to the twelfth grade) that Kalpana moved over to Dayal Singh College, that too because D.A.V. did not offer science beyond the first year of pre-university. As her teacher of English, Dr. Kamlesh Sharma, mentions, Kalpana was never traditional or conservative in her ideology, her thinking.

By the time she finished her pre-university from Dayal Singh College, the petite girl with large black eyes, high-pitched voice, and luminous smile had set her sights on a graduation degree in engineering. It was not surprising, therefore, when news filtered home that Kalpana had to attend Punjab Engineering College (PEC) in Chandigarh. The Chawla household was initially reluctant to send her out of Karnal.

Ultimately, however, they relented, and as a safeguard, ensured that Kalpana's friend Daisy too got admission in Chandigarh for a graduate degree. Recalling the moment, in the NASA interview, she said, ‘I was lucky to get into aerospace engineering at Punjab Engineering College. And, in my case, the goal was, at that stage anyway, to be an aerospace engineer. The astronaut business is far-fetched for me to say, “Oh, at that time, I even had an inkling of it.”

The time had come for this small-town girl, who weighed ninety pounds with rocks in her pocket, to move on in her journey.  She could well have rested on her laurels and earned a more than comfortable livelihood as a civilian.

Kalpana Chawla Death Reason

The horrific turn of events after the space shuttle made its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere on its home run are now history. For NASA and people all over the world, the end came as a tragic shock. A host of reasons have forth to explain Columbia's break-up on re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

The most plausible reason out is that debris from the shuttle's external tank had struck Columbia's wing, just eighty-one seconds after launch on 16 January.

The foam insulation purportedly fell and hit the shuttle's left flank on at least two, possibly three, locations. Titis believed, caused damage to the heat resistance tiles covering the wing and eventually proved fatal to the craft on re-entry. Retired Navy Admiral Harold Gehman, head of the independent investigation, is looking into this and other plausible causes.

Progress has been painstakingly slow, which is understandable given that the debris from the shuttle is still being located and put together. Therefore, it may well be a long time before something gets is conclusively established.

Short note on Kalpana chawla

Meanwhile, the initial shock of losing Kalpana and her six colleagues in the unfortunate accident is now gradually wearing off. And the harsh realization has dawned that life has to go on without these magnificent seven among us. Comforting to many people–including her . own husband is the thought that Kalpana's death doing something that was most dear to her.

Kalpana Chawla Death reason whatever maybe, ‘The initial shock has worn off, aided by a constant stream of prepared meals, friends arriving from far-off places, and ever-present Astronaut Office contacts,' wrote JP on the Iweb log maintained by a Gillan of the rock group, Deep Purple.

‘Intellectually, we all realize what has happened. Emotionally, none of us can yet connect the dots. We all take solace in that the crew was doing what they loved, with people they loved and respected. When the end came, it was instantaneous.'

It is what makes her legacy enduring-an inspiration for generations to come. In many ways, the spirit of the seven astronauts, lost on that fateful morning on 1 February 2003, will always be with the world. Kalpana's journey from Karnal to space will forever remain a part of us.

It did not end with the mishap or after her ashes were spread over Utah. It is not just because of her incredible achievements. It will be as much for her ability to achieve the impossible.

Though being born into an upper-middle-class family helped, she struggled against very much the same odds as the rest of her countrymen. As a young girl born in the 1960s, she had no model to follow, no godfathers in the system.

She did not use the prejudices and handicaps as an excuse for inaction. She sincerely believed that there was no alternative to hard work. And that if you believed in something genuinely, then it is yours.

Her origins and life were, in a sense, very much commonplace. But her achievements were not. That is what makes her extra special–a role model to be emulated by generations after her. That, in many ways, is the central element of her legacy.

In her last interview to India Today, she summed up the sine qua non of her incredible achievements thus: ‘In one word-perseverance. There have been other factors too. Taking the time to follow other interests such as reading and exploring that have helped to widen the perspective and have enriched the journey.'

Kalpana's strengths also flowed from the fact that she did no wanting for effort. She drew inspiration for this from ordinary individuals around her. People who gave it their all, no matter how commonplace their tasks might appear to be.

For her, the commitment of her teachers—with their constant ability to devote attention daily to almost every student-was a cause for inspiration. So were the initial struggles of her parents to establish themselves again after being uprooted from their homes by the flames of Partition.


The steadfastness and commitment that all of them displayed as they went about their daily lives inspired her in her journey. She looked for very much the same qualities–perseverance and courage-in the stories of explorers like Shackleton and Matthiessen.

For Kalpana, the words she wrote on the photograph she gave to Amy (his wife) and I sum her up: In the spirit of adventure. She was always seeking new knowledge, new experience, and a unique wonder. She wrote to David (his son), ‘Reach for the stars.' That is the message she would want all the children of the world to hear. Only by reaching beyond what we believe is possible can we achieve the impossible.

Also striking was her desire to give back to the community and her commitment to preserving nature. It was this that motivated her to help not only young children from her old school in Karnal but also other deserving people from all over the world.

It prompted her to painstakingly track down her alumni to share mementos from her first trip into space. To keep this legacy of generosity alive, her family has set up the Montsu Foundation (PO Box 58937, Houston, TX 77258, USA).

As JP put it: ‘The Foundation's first objective is to sponsor the university education of bright young men and women whose only obstacle is lack of funds, or means to acquire those funds.

Sponsorship is open to anyone anywhere in the world … The second objective is to acquire and preserve the natural environment, such as the purchase of land used by migratory birds during their stopovers.'

Very appropriate for someone who drew inspiration from the words of the philosopher, Seneca: ‘I was not born for one corner.

The whole world is my native land. It was a connection that she sincerely believed in till the very end. Born Indian, yet died as an American, in space. Indeed a global citizen.

As she said in her final interview to India Today, ‘I have felt that connection and stewardship for Earth as long as I can remember. And not just for Earth, but the whole universe.'

Kalpana chawla

Kalpana Chawla (March 17, 1962 – February 1, 2003) was an American astronaut of Indian origin. She was the primary Indian-American astronaut and the primary Indian lady to go into space.

Seconds before disaster Columbia Space Shuttle

A Timeline of Events in the Last Flight of Space Shuttle Columbia (All times EST)

16 January 2003 10.39 a.m.: Columbia rockets into orbit from Kennedy Space Center

1 February 2003 8.15 a.m.: Columbia fires braking rockets, streaks towards a touchdown.

8.53 a.m.: NASA loses temperature measurements for the shuttle's left hydraulic system.

8.58 a.m.: NASA loses measurements from three temperature sensors on the shuttle's left side.

8.59 a.m.: NASA loses eight more temperature measures and pressure measures for left inboard and outboard tyres. One of the measurements remains visible to crew on a display panel, which crew acknowledges.

8.59 a.m.: Final transmission. Mission Control radios: ‘Columbia, Houston, we see your tire pressure messages and we did not copy your last.' Columbia replies: ‘Roger, uh.

9.00 a.m.: NASA loses all data and contact with Columbia at 207,135 feet. Residents of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana report hearing a big bang' and seeing flames in the sky.

9.16 a.m.: Columbia's scheduled landing time.

9.29 a.m.: NASA declares an emergency.

9.44 a.m.: NASA warns residents to stay away from possibly hazardous debris.

11.00 a.m.: Kennedy Space Center lowers the flag to half staff.

2.05 p.m.: President Bush announces: Columbia is lost; there are no survivors.'

She first flew in 1997 on the Space Shuttle Columbia. She served on the shuttle as of mission specialist and the primary particular person sleeping the shuttle'srobotic arms.