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Remembering Astronaut Kalpana Chawla

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 04 February 2013, 03:21 Hrs
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Bangalore: Coming from a small town near Haryana, no one ever imagined that a girl named Kalpana Chawla from Karnal, which is situated 130 km away from Chandigarh, will reach out to the stars one day, by becoming the first ever woman astronaut from India. She set a high level of inspiration in many young minds in India, especially, the young girls of India.

Kalpana Chawla, who also got attracted by her long hair, was the first ever Indian-origin woman to go into space abroad the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s [NASA] reusable spacecraft named Columbia in the year 1997.

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Kalpana Chawla, the space scientist, who did her engineering degree in aeronautical engineering from Chandigarh's Punjab Engineering College (PEC), was chosen by NASA for her second space mission in January 2003.

It was during the return journey, once again in spacecraft Columbia, that the flight disintegrated while re-entering the Earth's atmosphere on February 1, 2003. All seven astronauts on the flight perished in the disaster.

Addressing children at the Tagore Bal Niketan School where Kalpana studied, legislator Sumita Singh said they could also bring laurels to the country with will power and working hard like Ms Chawla.

The state government is setting up a 650 crore medical college and hospital in Karnal named after Kalpana Chawla.

A planetarium has also been set up in her name in Kurukshetra town, 40 km away from Karnal.

Apart from just the school where she had studied, Kalpana was also remembered on her 10th death anniversary at PEC University of Technology, where she completed her degree in aeronautical engineering. The entire function was organized to honor her entire journey.

Prof. Manoj Datta, Director of PEC at this event also announced to set up Kalpana Chawla Center of Excellence with the budget of 4.33 Crores in the coming days, reports the Daily Bhaskar.com website.

Inputs from IANS and Bhaskar News

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