February 1, 2003 was day when the gloom overtook everything at various Science institutions world over. The reason – the US space shuttle Columbia broke up in the air on its reentry into the earth’s atmosphere. In a spur of moment, the whole team of scientists with the spacecraft was blown into pieces. Among them was our own Kalpana Chawla who was on that mission as the mission specialist. Born on January 6, 1967 at Karnal in India, Kalpana completed her studies upto University level in India and went to USA for higher studies. She had an ambition to become a pilt and fly high in the sky. In USA, Kalpana acquired her PhD and joined NASA space scientist.

This brilliant Indian-American lady proved once again that the Indian talent lags behind no other people of the world. A couple of years back, she was sent into space on a mission that was a complete success in all respects. She had completed her task successfully and that led to the authorities appoint her the mission specialist to the campaign in the beginning of the year 2003. All went well and the space shuttle was on its way back to earth, when, just 16 minutes away from home, all was lost in a bang.

As the news was reported the same morning, every felt deeply grieved over the loss of Kalpana that was very much our own. It was just like as a family mourns at her loss of its child. Kalpana is lost now, but the country that produced her still exists and let us take a pledge that each of us will prove as good as Kalpana and shall our motherland proud in the same way she did. That will be the most appropriate tribute to that great soul that departed all of a sudden.