Kalpana Chawla's Journey from India to NASA

Credit:-  Wikipedia

Early Inspiration (1962):  Born in Karnal, India, Kalpana Chawla's fascination with airplanes began in her childhood.  Seeing airplanes fly overhead sparked her dream of a career in aerospace engineering.

Credit:-  Dr. Kalpana Chawla Scholars

Academic Excellence (1982):  Chawla excelled in academics, earning a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College in India.

Credit:-  HT Tech - Hindustan Times

Moving to the US (1982):  Driven by her passion for aerospace, Chawla moved to the United States to pursue higher education.  She earned a Master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1984.

Credit:-  The Independent

Reaching for the Stars (1986):  Chawla continued her academic journey at the University of Colorado Boulder, obtaining a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering in 1988. Her doctoral research focused on computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer.

Credit:-  National Aeronautics and Space Administration Wiki 

Taking Flight (1986-1990):  While pursuing her Ph.D., Chawla gained valuable experience working at NASA's Ames Research Center in California.  She conducted research on aircraft aerodynamics and flight simulations.

Credit:-  Space Center Houston

Soaring Higher (1990-1991):  After completing her Ph.D., Chawla worked for several private aerospace companies, further honing her engineering skills in aircraft design and certification.  She also earned her certification as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, and glider pilot.

Credit:-  Dallas Asian American Historical Society

Becoming a U.S. Citizen (1991):  Chawla's dedication to her work and her adopted country led her to become a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1991.

Credit:-  The American Bazaar

Reaching for the Final Frontier (1994):  Kalpana Chawla's dream finally took flight when she was selected as a NASA astronaut candidate in December 1994.  She underwent rigorous training for two years to prepare for space missions.

Credit:-  UT Arlington

First Mission: Columbia (1997):  In November 1997, Chawla became the first Indian-born woman and the second person of Indian origin to fly into space.  She served as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator on the Space Shuttle Columbia, mission STS-87.  During this 15-day mission, the crew deployed and retrieved the Spartan Satellite.

Credit:-  Mid-day

A Legacy of Inspiration (2003):  Tragically, Kalpana Chawla lost her life, along with the entire crew, when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere on February 1, 2003.

Credit:-  LatestLY