Kalpana Chawla Biography in English PDF, Education Qualification, Father Name, Born, Death, Essay

Kalpana Chawla Biography in English PDF, Education Qualification, Father Name, Born, Death, Essay

Kalpana Chawla Biography in English PDF, Education Qualification, Father Name, Born, Death, Essay – Kalpana Chawla, affectionately known as Monto, made an indelible mark on the history of space exploration. Born on March 17, 1962, in Karnal, Haryana, India, she went on to become an astronaut with a remarkable career that unfortunately met a tragic end. This article delves into the life of Kalpana Chawla, from her early days to her pioneering space missions and the enduring legacy she left behind.

Kalpana Chawla Bio

Kalpana Chawla Biography in English PDF, Education Qualification, Father Name, Born, Death, Essay
Real NameKalpana Chawla
Date of Birth17 March 1962 (Real), 1 July 1961 (Official)
Date of Death1 February 2003
Place of BirthKarnal, Haryana, India
Place of DeathAboard Space Shuttle Columbia over Texas, U.S.
Age (as of 1 Feb ’03)40 Years
HometownTexas, U.S.
HobbiesReading Poetry, playing Badminton, dancing

Kalpana Chawla Early Life

Kalpana’s journey began in the vibrant town of Karnal, where she attended Tagore Bal Niketan School. Even in her school days, she exhibited a keen interest in the cosmos. Her fascination with stars and planets set her on a trajectory that would eventually lead her beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.

Despite facing challenges, including the loss of her father, Banarasi Lal Chawla, in 2003, Kalpana’s family supported her dreams. Her father’s last wish to donate his body to the Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College in Karnal stands as a testament to the family’s commitment to education and service.

Kalpana pursued her academic journey with determination. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, setting the stage for her illustrious career. Subsequently, she obtained a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas, showcasing her commitment to academic excellence.

Kalpana Chawla Education

Kalpana Chawla’s academic journey was a testament to her commitment to excellence. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, setting the foundation for her illustrious career. Furthering her education, she obtained a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas. Kalpana’s pursuit of knowledge culminated in a second Masters and a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado.

SchoolTagore Bal Niketan School, Karnal
CollageDyal Singh College, Karnal, Haryana
Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh
The University of Texas, Arlington, U.S.
The University of Colorado, Boulder, U.S.
QualificationBachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
Second Masters and PhD in Aerospace Engineering

Kalpana Chawla Measurement

Standing at 5′ 4″ with captivating dark brown eyes and black hair, Kalpana Chawla possessed a commanding physical presence. Her stature, measured in centimeters at 163 cm, reflected both strength and grace. These physical attributes complemented her exceptional skills as an astronaut, contributing to her success in the demanding field of space exploration.

Height5 feet 4 inches (approx)
Weight59kg (approx)
Hair ColorBlack
Eye ColorBlack

Kalpana Chawla Relationships

In 1983, Kalpana Chawla tied the knot with Jean-Pierre Harrison, a flying instructor and aviation author. Their enduring marriage showcased a shared passion for the skies. Despite not having children, the couple’s bond symbolized a union of two kindred spirits, both enamored with the boundless possibilities of flight. Kalpana’s personal life, intertwined with her professional achievements, added a personal dimension to the narrative of this extraordinary astronaut.

Banarasi Lal Chawla (deceased)Father
Sanjyothi ChawlaMother
Sunita, Dipa, and 1 otherSisters
Jean-Pierre HarrisonHusband
Kalpana Chawla Biography in English PDF, Education Qualification, Father Name, Born, Death, Essay

Kalpana Chawla Net Worth

Kalpana Chawla’s net worth was estimated to be $1 million. While her wealth was not amassed through financial pursuits but through her groundbreaking contributions to space exploration, this figure underscores the invaluable legacy she left behind, transcending monetary value.

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Career Soars to New Heights

In 1988, Kalpana embarked on her career at the NASA Ames Research Center, delving into Computational Fluid Dynamics research on Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing concepts. Her dedication and expertise led to her appointment as the Vice President of Overset Methods, Inc at NASA Research Centre just five years later.

The pivotal moment arrived in 1997 when Kalpana’s dream of space exploration became a reality. She made history as the first Indian-origin woman to journey into space, joining the crew of Space Shuttle Columbia STS-87 as a mission specialist. Over 10.5 million miles, 252 orbits, and 372 hours in space marked her inaugural spaceflight.

Certified as a pilot with commercial licenses for seaplanes, multi-engine airplanes, and gliders, Kalpana continued to push boundaries. Her achievements painted a picture of perseverance, breaking gender and cultural barriers in the world of aerospace.

Tragedy Strikes

In 2000, Kalpana was selected for her second flight, becoming part of the crew of Space Shuttle Columbia. However, destiny took an unfortunate turn. The shuttle disintegrated over Texas during re-entry in 2003, claiming the lives of all seven crew members, including Kalpana Chawla.

The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was a heart-wrenching moment that shook the foundations of space exploration. An investigation revealed a damaged heat-insulating tile on the left wing of the shuttle as the cause. NASA faced scrutiny for not informing the crew about potential risks during re-entry.

Legacy and Honors

In the wake of the tragedy, Kalpana Chawla’s legacy endured. India’s then-Prime Minister, Atal Bihar Vajpayee, renamed the satellite ‘MetSat-1’ to ‘Kalpana-1’ as a tribute to the courageous astronaut. The world acknowledged her contributions, with the USA renaming a street in New York City to ‘Kalpana Chawla street.’

Kalpana Chawla Biography in English PDF, Education Qualification, Father Name, Born, Death, Essay

NASA honored Kalpana by dedicating a supercomputer in her name. Renowned ‘Star Trek’ novelist Peter David immortalized her by naming a shuttlecraft ‘The Chawla’ in his book. The Mars Exploration Rover paid homage by naming a chain of hills on Mars ‘Columbia Hills,’ with each peak named after the seven members lost in the Columbia disaster.

Personal Life and Beyond the Stars

Kalpana’s personal life intertwined with her passion for the skies. Married to flying instructor and aviation author Jean-Pierre Harrison since 1983, she shared her life with a fellow enthusiast of the skies. The couple did not have children, and Kalpana’s untimely departure left a void in the hearts of her family and admirers worldwide.

Beyond her professional achievements, Kalpana Chawla’s personal anecdotes reveal a resilient spirit. Her nickname ‘Monto,’ bestowed upon her by her parents, echoes the warmth and familiarity she brought to those around her. The absence of a formal name until she chose ‘Kalpana’ herself adds a touch of uniqueness to her narrative.

The Woman Behind the Astronaut

Kalpana’s childhood stories shed light on her roots and the challenges her family overcame. Her father’s journey from being a street hawker to a self-taught engineer exemplifies the determination that Kalpana inherited. The absence of formal education did not deter her father from achieving success and providing a solid foundation for Kalpana’s dreams.

Her love for poetry, badminton, and dancing showcased the multifaceted personality of this extraordinary woman. From adorning the classroom ceiling with stars during her school days to always drawing airplanes in her sceneries, Kalpana’s passion for aerospace was evident from a young age.


Kalpana Chawla’s life and career transcend the boundaries of time and space. Her journey from a small town in Haryana to the vastness of the cosmos remains an inspiration for aspiring astronauts and dreamers worldwide. The Columbia disaster was a poignant moment, but Kalpana’s spirit continues to soar through the honors, tributes, and dedications that stand as testaments to her enduring legacy. As we remember this trailblazer, we celebrate not just an astronaut but a woman who reached for the stars and left an indelible mark on the tapestry of human achievement.

Also Read,

How and When Kalpana Chawla Died?

Kalpana Chawla met her tragic end on February 1, 2003, during her second flight on Space Shuttle Columbia. The disaster occurred during the re-entry phase into Earth’s atmosphere. The spacecraft disintegrated, leading to the loss of all seven crew members, including Kalpana Chawla.

How Many Scientists Died with Kalpana Chawla?

In the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, seven astronauts lost their lives. Kalpana Chawla was one of them, and the collective loss was a devastating event in the history of space exploration.

Who is the First Indian Woman to Go to Space?

Kalpana Chawla holds the distinction of being the first Indian woman to travel to space. In 1997, she achieved this milestone, becoming not only India’s first astronaut but also leaving an indelible mark on the scientific history of the country.

Did Kalpana Chawla Have Any Children?

Kalpana Chawla, who married Jean-Pierre Harrison in 1983, did not have any children. Despite the absence of offspring, her marriage to the French-American flying instructor and author remained a significant part of her personal life. In 1991, Kalpana became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Who Did Kalpana Chawla Marry?

Kalpana Chawla married Jean-Pierre Harrison, a French-American flying instructor and author. Their union lasted from 1983 until the tragic events of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, marking the end of Kalpana Chawla’s remarkable journey in the realm of space exploration.

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