SUMMARY OF THE LESSON
In 1997, an Indian-American girl, Kalpana Chawla made history. She went up into space. She was part of the international crew in the U.S. space shuttle. She was the first India-born woman to go into space.
But she met with a tragedy. The space shuttle Columbia carrying Kalpana went up in flames on 1 February, 2003. The shuttle was returning to earth. She had stayed in space for 16 days.
Kalpana was born in Karnal, Haryana. She had never, as a child, dreamed of such a flight in space. She got a degree in aeronautical engineering in India. Then she went to the United States for a master's degree.
Kalpana became a naturalised U.S. citizen after her marriage with Harrison. She also qualified as a pilot. In 1994 she was selected as an astronaut.
Kalpana's first space mission in Columbia lasted nearly 16 days. She went around the earth 252 times. The news about the Columbia's disaster came in 2003. There was shock and disbelief in her hometown.
She was truly a brave and bright girl. Her achievement was wonderful. Her story became an inspiration for millions of young Indians. She gave a message from the space shuttle, to Chandigarh students. She said, "There always exists a path from dreams to success. Only you need to have the courage to go after your dream".