Kalpana Chawla was born in the small town of Karnal in the state of Haryana. In 1997, Kalpana Chawla did India proud by becoming the first Indian woman to go into space. She was selected by the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) from thousands of candidates. She went as a mission specialist on a space shuttle named Columbia. Very soon she got another opportunity to go into space. This time also she was selected as a mission specialist in the seven-member crew. But unfortunately, the Columbia broke up on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. All the seven members perished.
While paying homage to Kalpana Chawla, our President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said, ‘The remarkable journey of courage and determination that made this Indian woman, hailing from a small town in Haryana, a citizen of the Milky Way will remain a source of pride for all Indians. It will also inspire young Indians, especially women, to dream big and to work hard to realise their dreams. To honour Kalpana Chawla India’s latest weather satellite METSAT has been named as Kalpana-I.