1. Where was Kalpana Chawla born? Why is she called an Indian – American? (3)
Answer Kalpana Chawla was born in Karnal, Haryana. She was called an Indian-American because she went to the US and became a naturalised citizen.
2. When and why did she go to the U.S.? Who did she marry? (2, 3)
Answer She went to the US after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering for pursuing master’s degree. She married flight instructor Jean-Pierre Harrison.
3. How did she become an astronaut? What gave her the idea that she could be an astronaut? (3)
Answer After qualifying as a pilot, Chawla applied to NASA space shuttle program. She was first hired as a research Scientist at NASA. In 1994 she was selected at NASA for training as an astronaut. It was her success as a pilot which gave her the idea that she could become an astronaut.
4. What abilities must an astronaut have, according to the journalist? (6)
Answer According to the journalist, it takes enormous ability to be an astronaut. An astronaut must know a lot about everything, from biology to astrophysics to aeronautical engineering. In this age of super-specialisation, you must have encyclopedic knowledge to be an astronaut.
5. Describe Kalpana Chawla’s first mission in space. (5)
Answer Kalpana Chawla’s first mission was in the space shuttle Columbia. It was a 15 days, 16 hours and 34 minutes. During this time, she went around the earth 252 times travelling 1.45 million km. The crew performed experiments such as pollinating plants to observe food growth in space. It also made tests for making stronger metals and faster computer chips. It was all done for a price tag of 56 million dollars.
6. What does Kalpana Chawla say about pursuing a dream? Do you agree with her that success is possible? (7)
Answer Kalpana Chawla said that the path from dreams to success does exist. One needs to have the vision to find it, and the courage to get onto it. Yes, success is possible.