Kalpana Chawla Wiki, Biography, Education, Death, Mission, Children, Age, Husband And More

Kalpana Chawla Wiki: Kalpana Chawla, a name etched in the annals of space exploration, is a symbol of perseverance, determination, and the unyielding human spirit. Her journey from a small town in India to the boundless skies of outer space serves as an inspiration to countless individuals worldwide. In this biography, we will delve into the life and achievements of Kalpana Chawla, an astronaut whose legacy continues to shine brightly.

Chawla’s enduring influence continues to resonate, especially in her ability and dedication, which have motivated young individuals in India and across the globe to contemplate careers in space exploration. During her early years, Chawla’s fascination with aviation was sparked at the tender age of three when she first laid eyes on an aircraft. She spent numerous days alongside her father, frequenting the local flying club, where her burgeoning interest in aviation began to take shape during her school years. This article provides comprehensive insights into the life of Kalpana Chawla, encompassing her biography, educational journey, tragic demise, space missions, family, age, and her husband, offering a thorough exploration of the remarkable woman behind the name. Various facets of Kalpana Chawla’s life, spanning her biography, educational background, untimely passing, space missions, children, age, and marital partner, are elaborated upon within this article.

Kalpana Chawla Wiki

What's In the Article

Kalpana Chawla, an aerospace engineer and astronaut, was born in India and subsequently became a naturalized American citizen. Her remarkable journey included participation in the STS-87 Mission, during which she achieved the historic feat of becoming the first woman of Indian origin to venture into space. Kalpana’s pivotal role in this mission was a testament to her exceptional skills and dedication. Her contribution to space exploration did not go unnoticed. Kalpana Chawla was honored with several prestigious awards, including the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the NASA Space Flight Medal, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. These accolades recognized her outstanding achievements and her significant impact on the field of space exploration.

Chawla’s academic journey was marked by brilliance. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh, India. Her thirst for knowledge and relentless pursuit of excellence led her to the United States, where she obtained a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. Her dedication and hard work were evident throughout her academic years, and these qualities would serve her well in her future endeavors.

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Kalpana Chawla


Kalpana Chawla Wiki Details

Name Kalpana Chawla
Nickname Montu
Category Wiki
Date of Birth 17-03-1962
Profession Astronaut, Aerospace engineer
Instagram Id www.instagram.com/Kalpanachawla

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Kalpana Chawla Wiki Biography

Kalpana Chawla was born on March 17, 1962, in Karnal, Haryana, India. Growing up in a society where the concept of women pursuing careers in fields like aerospace was still relatively novel, Chawla displayed exceptional determination and a passion for the skies from a young age. Her fascination with flight and space was sparked during her childhood when she often gazed at the airplanes flying over her home.

Place of Birth Karnal, India
Died 1 February 2003

Aboard Space Shuttle Columbia over Texas, U.S.

Parents Father: Banarasi Lal Chawla

Mother: Sanjyothi Chawla

Siblings 4 ( She is the youngest of four children)
Alma mater Punjab Engineering College (BE)
University of Texas at Arlington (MS)
University of Colorado at Boulder (MS, PhD)
Awards Congressional Space Medal of Honour
The NASA Space Flight Medal
The NASA Distinguished Service Medal
Selection Selected by NASA in December 1994
Missions STS-87, STS-107

Kalpana Chawla Age

Kalpana Chawla, tragically lost at the age of 40 due to the devastating disintegration of the Space Shuttle Columbia, led a life filled with notable achievements and contributions to the field of aerospace. Her journey into the world of space exploration began with her work at NASA Ames, where she engaged in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) research, specifically focusing on Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing (V/STOL) concepts. Her dedication and expertise in this area are underscored by the fact that a significant portion of her research found its place in esteemed technical journals, showcasing her commitment to advancing the field.

In 1991, a significant milestone in Kalpana’s life occurred when she became a naturalized US citizen. Her journey continued to ascend when, in 1993, she assumed the role of Vice President and Research Scientist at Overset Methods, a position that further exemplified her expertise and leadership in the realm of aerospace. Just two years following her induction into the NASA Astronaut Corps, in 1997, Kalpana Chawla achieved yet another milestone by being selected for her maiden spaceflight. Her remarkable journey from an aerospace enthusiast in India to an accomplished astronaut in the United States remains an enduring source of inspiration and a testament to the boundless possibilities that can be achieved through unwavering dedication and pursuit of one’s dreams.

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Kalpana Chawla Education

Kalpana Chawla’s educational journey commenced at the Tagore Baal Niketan School in Karnal, India. After successfully completing her school education, her passion for aerospace engineering led her to Punjab Engineering College, where she embarked on a path to acquire her degree in aeronautical engineering. However, her pursuit of this career choice was not without its challenges. During her time at college, Kalpana encountered discouragement from some of her professors, who believed that opportunities in this field were limited for women. Despite the skepticism she faced, Kalpana remained unwavering in her determination, firmly convinced that aeronautical engineering was her calling.

In the early 1980s, Kalpana took a significant step in her educational journey by journeying to the United States. There, she enrolled at the University of Texas, where she pursued a Master’s Degree, honing her expertise in the field of aerospace engineering. Her commitment to her chosen profession continued to drive her forward. Notably, Kalpana’s pursuit of knowledge reached its pinnacle when she earned a doctorate degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado. This remarkable academic achievement underscored her dedication and passion for her field, and it laid the foundation for her future career as an astronaut and her groundbreaking contributions to the world of space exploration.

Kalpana Chawla Family

Kalpana Chawla was born to parents Banarasi Lal Chawla and Sanjyothi Chawla. She held the position of the youngest among her four siblings. In her early years, she was affectionately referred to as “Montu” by her parents. However, when she embarked on her educational journey, Kalpana chose her own name, a name that would come to define her spirit and ambition. “Kalpana,” a name that translates to “idea” or “imagination,” was a fitting choice for someone who would go on to achieve extraordinary feats.

In more informal settings, Kalpana often went by the nickname K.C.” Her interests were as diverse as her talents. She had a deep passion for flying, which would later lead her to the skies as an astronaut. Additionally, she enjoyed pursuits like hiking, backpacking, and the simple pleasures of reading. These facets of her life not only showcased her well-rounded personality but also reflected her adventurous spirit and her ceaseless curiosity about the world around her.

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Kalpana Chawla Husband

On the 2nd of December, 1983, Kalpana Chawla entered into matrimony with Jean-Pierre Harrison. Kalpana was just 21 years old at the time of their marriage, embarking on a life journey that would eventually lead her to the stars. Following the tragic loss of Kalpana, filmmakers expressed a keen interest in producing a movie that would celebrate her remarkable life and achievements. However, Kalpana’s husband, Jean-Pierre Harrison, made a heartfelt decision to preserve the privacy of their life together. He declined the proposals to create a movie about his late wife, choosing instead to keep their personal and intimate moments away from the public eye.

This decision reflects Harrison’s desire to honor Kalpana’s memory in a way that respects the dignity and privacy they cherished during their time together. It also underscores the profound bond they shared, which transcended the spotlight of fame and remained a deeply personal and cherished aspect of their lives.

Kalpana Chawla Children

According to available information, Kalpana Chawla did not have any children during her lifetime. She was the youngest among the four children born to her parents, Banarasi Lal and Sanjyothi Chawla. Following the completion of her education, Kalpana embarked on her professional journey, becoming part of the prestigious Ames Research Center. However, her most significant milestone came in 1994 when she was selected as an astronaut candidate. This accomplishment was met with admiration from millions of people worldwide, who celebrated her as a trailblazer and an inspiration.

Even though Kalpana Chawla is no longer with us, her legacy endures as a beacon of inspiration for countless individuals. Her remarkable achievements continue to motivate people to reach for their own dreams and to persevere in the face of adversity, a testament to the enduring impact of her extraordinary life.

Kalpana Chawla Career

Kalpana Chawla’s professional journey took flight in 1988 when she commenced her work at NASA Ames Research Center. Here, she immersed herself in the intricate world of powered-lift computational fluid dynamics. Her primary focus was on the simulation of intricate airflows experienced by aircraft, particularly the Harrier, especially in “ground-effect” conditions. Her work was instrumental in enhancing our understanding of these complex aerodynamic phenomena.

In 1993, Kalpana Chawla took her expertise to Overset Methods Inc., located in Los Altos, California, where she assumed the roles of Vice President and Research Scientist. Here, she collaborated with a team of fellow researchers, collectively dedicated to tackling the simulation of moving multiple body problems. Her specific task involved developing and implementing efficient techniques for aerodynamic optimization. The fruits of her labor found their way into technical conference papers and esteemed journals, solidifying her contributions to the field.

The turning point in Kalpana’s career occurred in December 1994 when she received the prestigious nod from NASA. This marked the beginning of a new chapter as she reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995 as an astronaut candidate, joining the illustrious 15th Group of Astronauts. After a year of rigorous training, Kalpana transitioned into a role as a crew representative for the Astronaut Office, where she specialized in EVA (Extravehicular Activity), Robotics, and Computer Branches. Within this domain, she played a pivotal role in testing software for space shuttles and worked on Robotic Situational Awareness Displays, contributing significantly to the advancement of space technology.

Space Missions and Achievements

Kalpana Chawla’s journey to the stars did not end with her first mission. She went on to participate in another mission, STS-107, in 2003. Tragically, this mission ended in disaster when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. All seven crew members, including Chawla, lost their lives in this tragic accident. It was a somber moment in the history of space exploration, and the world mourned the loss of these brave astronauts.

Chawla’s contributions to the field of space exploration were significant. Her missions involved conducting experiments related to microgravity and space technology, which contributed to our understanding of how humans can live and work in space. Her work paved the way for future advancements in aerospace engineering and technology.

Legacy and Inspiration

Kalpana Chawla’s legacy continues to inspire individuals around the world, especially young girls and women who aspire to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Her life story is a testament to the power of determination and the belief that dreams can be achieved, regardless of one’s background or gender.

In her honor, several scholarships, awards, and institutions have been established to support and encourage women in STEM fields. The Chawla family, in collaboration with NASA, created the “Kalpana Chawla Memorial Scholarship” to provide financial assistance to Indian students pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering or related fields.

Furthermore, Chawla’s life has been commemorate in various ways. The International Space University in Strasbourg, France, established the Kalpana Chawla Scholarship Fund to support Indian women pursuing a career in aerospace. Additionally, a planetarium in Haryana, India, has been named after her to inspire the younger generation to reach for the stars.

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Kalpana Chawla Death

Kalpana Chawla’s illustrious career as an astronaut included her participation in the STS-107 mission, following the success of her inaugural space journey. The primary objective of the STS-107 mission was to conduct microgravity research, a mission that would prove to be tragically fateful. The crew of the STS-107 mission consisted of seven members, with Kalpana Chawla among them. This mission, however, faced numerous delays due to various technical challenges and problems. It was ultimately launch on January 16, 2003, after overcoming these obstacles.

Regrettably, Kalpana’s second space mission concluded in a heart-wrenching tragedy. The spacecraft, upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, disintegrated, leading to the devastating loss of all seven crew members. The cause of this catastrophe was traced back to damage sustained by the orbiter’s left-wing thermal protection system during launch. A foam remnant had struck the wing, compromising its integrity.

The critical point of failure occurred during re-entry, as the damaged wing overheated, leading to a loss of control and the eventual disintegration of the spacecraft. This catastrophic event unfolded over Texas, leaving an indelible mark on the history of space exploration. In the wake of this tragedy, a thorough investigation was launched to understand the circumstances and causes behind the accident. The remains of Kalpana Chawla, along with those of her fellow crew members, were discovered and recovered. In a somber and poignant ceremony, Kalpana’s remains were cremate, and her ashes were scatter in Zion National Park, serving as a final tribute to her indomitable spirit and her enduring connection to the skies she loved.


Kalpana Chawla’s life and achievements serve as a shining example of what can be accomplish through determination, hard work, and a relentless pursuit of one’s dreams. Her journey from a small town in India to the boundless expanse of space inspires us to break barriers, challenge conventions, and aim for the stars.

Though she is no longer with us, her spirit lives on in the hearts of those she continues to inspire. Kalpana Chawla’s story reminds us that the sky is not the limit; it is just the beginning of our limitless potential as human beings. She will forever be remember as a symbol of courage, perseverance, and the enduring quest for knowledge in the vast cosmos.

Kalpana Chawla Wiki FAQ’S

Who is Kalpana Chawla?

Kalpana Chawla was an Indian-born American astronaut and aerospace engineer.

When was Kalpana Chawla born?

Kalpana Chawla March 17, 1962 was born in Karnal, India.

How did Kalpana died in space?

On 1 February 2003, Kalpana Chawla Lost Her Life When The Space Shuttle Columbia Was Destroyed. While Re-Entering Into Earth's Atmosphere, The Spacecraft Broke Out And Killed All Seven Astronauts On Board.

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