Kalpana Chawla, was among the 7-member crew who lost their lives some 13 tragic years ago, when NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas while making its way back into earth.
On what would have today been her 54th anniversary today, here are 5 interesting facts you perhaps did not know about her:
1. She held several positions at NASA before going on to become an astronaut
She moved to the US in 1982 after her engineering degree, and studied aerospace engineering before joining NASA.
2. She completed her initial education in Punjab
After finishing her schooling in Karnal, she finished her degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, before moving on to the US for her MS degree.
3. She wasn’t always a class topper
She did not always stand first in her class, but continued to be among the top 5 students in her class.
4. She loved poetry and reading
Unlike what you would think, she wasn’t a nerd really, and loved reading fiction and poetry a lot.
5. Monto was the name given to Kalpana by her parents.
She was given the name Monto by her parents as a young child. Later, she came to be known with the same name.
6. She had the courage to pursue her dreams endlessly
Despite hailing from a small town, she had the courage to dream big and break the shackles of the male-dominated society.