“Today we honor Kalpana Chawla, who made history at NASA as the first female astronaut of Indian descent. Her contributions to human spaceflight have had a lasting impact,” tweeted Northrop Grumman, an American global aerospace and defence technology company.
Honoring the legacy of India’s first women astronaut “Kalpana Chawla”
The Indian- American astronaut marked history at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) as the first Indian women to ungravitate into the space. She lost her life in 2003 when the Space Shuttle Columbia dismantled upon entering the Earth.
Next Cygnus Capsule to be named after Kalpana Chawla
Northrop Grumman, an American global aerospace and defence technology company, made it official that it’s next Cygnus capsule will be named the “S.S Kalpana Chawla”, as tribute to the mission specialist who died with her six crewmates aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003.
Proud initiative from Northrop Grumman and Co.
“Northrop Grumman is proud to name the NG-14 Cygnus spacecraft after former astronaut Kalpana Chawla. It is the company’s tradition to name each Cygnus after an Individual who has played a pivotal role in human spaceflight,” The American global aerospace and defence technology company added.
Outskirts of Kalpana Chawla’s Indescribable Achievements
Kalpana Chawla (The first Indian women astronaut) was born in Karnal, Haryana on March 17, 1962. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering college (in 1982), she moved to United States to complete her graduation. She acquired her Master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas, heading on towards Ph,D in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado in 1988. She had access to commercial pilot’s licenses for single and multi – engine aeroplanes, seaplanes, and gliders and was also a certified flight instructor.
Kalpana Chawla started her career at NASA in 1988 as a powered- lift computational fluid dynamics researcher at the Ames Research Center in California. The job focused on the simulation of complex air flows encountered by aircraft flying in ground-effect. In 1993, November 1996, Kalpana Chawla was recruited as a mission specialist on STS-87 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, marking the first women of Indian origin to fly in space.
A Star, Space Was Privileged To Have
Chawla perished during the STS-107 mission when the Space Shuttle Columbia fragmented into pieces while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. The tragedy took place on Feb 1,2003 devastating the astronauts aboard, their families waiting at the Kennedy Space Center and the NASA officials. Additionally, on the Red Planet, a chain of seven peaks entitled the Columbia Hills are each named after the astronauts that perished in the Columbia disaster- one of which is Chawla’s.
The American global aerospace and defence technology company further said “Her final research conducted onboard Columbia helped us understand astronaut health and safety during spaceflight.”
The launch of “S.S Kalpana Chawla capsule”
The S.S Kalpana Chawla capsule is scheduled to be launched on September 29, 2020 from above a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket from the Mid- Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The spacecraft will arrive and join the space station two days later. The Cygnus NG-14 mission spacecraft will deliver nearly 3,629(8,100 lb) kg of cargo to the space station.
“While Chawla made the ultimate sacrifice to the space programme, her legacy lives on through her fellow astronauts and those she has inspired to follow in her footsteps.”
She is an honour to any women who works on her dreams and soars across the sky and beyond. Billions of ‘take a bow’s’.