Kalpana Chawla facts for kids

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Kalpana Chawla, NASA photo portrait in orange suit
Portrait from NASA.

Kalpana Chawla (March 17, 1962 – February 1, 2003) was an Indian astronaut. She was the first Indian-American astronaut and the first Indian woman to go into space.

She first flew in 1997 on the Space Shuttle Columbia. She served on the shuttle as a mission specialist and the main person working the shuttle's robotic arms.

Chawla was born in Karnal, Haryana. She got a degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College. She moved to the United States and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in the 1980s. She earned a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas. She got her doctorate from the University of Colorado in 1988. She began working for NASA at the Ames Research Center the same year.

Kalpana was one of the seven people killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on February 1, 2003.

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