Kalpana Chawla Education Qualification, Children, Bose, Medical College, Death, Age

Kalpana Chawla Education Qualification, Children, Bose, Medical College, Death, Age

Kalpana Chawla Education Qualification, Children, Bose, Medical College, Death, Age – Kalpana Chawla, fondly known as Monto, was not just an astronaut; she was a symbol of resilience, passion, and indomitable spirit. Born on March 17, 1962, in Karnal, Haryana, India, she soared beyond earthly boundaries to become the first Indian-origin woman in space. This article delves into the various dimensions of her life, exploring her early years, educational pursuits, personal life, career achievements, and the tragic end that befell her during the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

Kalpana Chawla Education Qualification, Children, Bose, Medical College, Death, Age
Kalpana Chawla Education Qualification, Children, Bose, Medical College, Death, Age

Kalpana Chawla Biography:

Full NameKalpana Chawla
Date of BirthMarch 17, 1962 (Real)
Place of BirthKarnal, Haryana, India
Date of DeathFebruary 1, 2003
Place of DeathAboard Space Shuttle Columbia over Texas, U.S.
Age at Death40 Years
Net WorthMarried

Kalpana Chawla Early Life & Background:

Kalpana Chawla’s journey began in the quaint town of Karnal, where her father, Banarasi Lal Chawla, overcame adversities as a self-taught engineer. Despite facing hardships during the communal riots, he established a successful textile shop. Kalpana’s parents, unique in their approach, referred to her only by her nickname ‘Monto’ until she chose the name ‘Kalpana’ herself. From a young age, she displayed a fascination for stars and planets, foreshadowing her future in aerospace.

Kalpana Chawla Measurements:

Standing at approximately 163 cm (5′ 4″), Kalpana Chawla was not defined by her physical stature but by the colossal impact she left on the field of space exploration. With dark brown eyes and black hair, her presence radiated a blend of determination and curiosity.

Height163 cm (approx.)
Eye ColourDark Brown
Hair ColourBlack

Kalpana Chawla Education Qualification:

Kalpana’s academic journey was marked by relentless dedication. She pursued a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, Karnal. Her thirst for knowledge led her to the University of Texas for a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering and later a second Master’s and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado.

CollegeBachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering, Punjab Engineering College, Karnal
UniversityMaster of Science in Aerospace Engineering, University of Texas
UniversitySecond Master’s in Aerospace Engineering, University of Colorado
UniversityPh.D. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Colorado

Kalpana Chawla Family Background:

Kalpana’s family played a significant role in shaping her trajectory. Her father, Banarasi Lal Chawla, and mother, Sanjyothi Chawla, instilled values of perseverance and hard work. She had a brother, Sanjay, and two sisters, Sunita and Dipa. Her family’s journey from West Punjab, now in Pakistan, to India during the tumultuous times shaped Kalpana’s resilience.

FatherBanarasi Lal Chawla (deceased)
MotherSanjyothi Chawla
SistersSunita, Dipa, and 1 other

Kalpana Chawla Relationship Status:

Beyond the astronaut suit, Kalpana Chawla’s personal life reflected a balance between dedication to her career and a commitment to her relationships. In 1983, she married Jean-Pierre Harrison, a flying instructor and aviation author. Despite not having children of their own, their marriage stood as a testament to her ability to navigate the complexities of personal and professional life.

Kalpana’s marital status remained steadfast as ‘married’ throughout her life. Her relationship with Jean-Pierre Harrison showcased a partnership built on mutual support and shared passions for aviation.

Kalpana Chawla Net Worth:

Kalpana Chawla’s endeavors in the aerospace industry and her historic space missions contributed to a net worth estimated at $13 million. Her legacy, however, transcends monetary value, encompassing the inspiration she left for aspiring astronauts and dreamers worldwide.

Kalpana Chawla Career Beginnings:

Kalpana Chawla’s illustrious career in aerospace marked a trajectory of unparalleled achievements and groundbreaking contributions to space exploration. Joining NASA Ames Research Center in 1988, she swiftly became a prominent figure in the field, focusing on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) research. Five years later, she ascended to the position of Vice President of Overset Methods, Inc., showcasing her exceptional skills and leadership.

The pinnacle of her career came in 1997 when she embarked on her first spaceflight, serving as a mission specialist on Space Shuttle Columbia STS-87. This historic mission not only made her the first woman of Indian origin in space but also emphasized her crucial role in advancing human exploration beyond Earth.

Kalpana’s dedication to space exploration persisted, and she was selected for the Space Shuttle Columbia mission STS-107 in 2000. Despite numerous delays, her resilience led her back to space in 2003. Tragically, the mission concluded in disaster as the shuttle disintegrated during re-entry, claiming the lives of all seven crew members, including Kalpana Chawla.

Her career was not just a series of missions; it was a testament to the spirit of human exploration and the pursuit of knowledge. The awards bestowed upon her posthumously, including the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and NASA Distinguished Service Medal, underscored her enduring impact on the aerospace industry. Kalpana Chawla’s career remains a beacon of inspiration for aspiring astronauts and a legacy that transcends the confines of Earth’s atmosphere.

Kalpana Chawla Social Media:

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Kalpana Chawla Cause of Death:

On February 1, 2003, tragedy struck as the Space Shuttle Columbia met a catastrophic end over Texas during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. The cause of the disaster was traced back to a damaged aluminum heat-insulating tile on the left wing of the shuttle. The entire crew, including Kalpana Chawla, perished in the accident.

Kalpana Chawla Awards:

Posthumously, Kalpana Chawla received accolades recognizing her significant contributions to space exploration. These awards included the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, NASA Space Flight Medal, and NASA Distinguished Service Medal. Each award symbolized her unwavering commitment and the mark she left on the cosmos.

  • Congressional Space Medal of Honor
  • NASA Space Flight Medal
  • NASA Distinguished Service Medal

Kalpana Chawla Facts:

Beyond the spacesuit and the astronaut persona, Kalpana life was adorned with intriguing details:

  • Kalpana parents hailed from the Multan district of West Punjab, now in Pakistan.
  • Despite facing challenges, her father became a self-taught engineer and opened his own successful textile shop.
  • Kalpana’s nickname ‘Monto’ was given by her parents, and she later chose her own name when admitted to school.
  • From a young age, she displayed a keen interest in stars and would always draw airplanes in her class when asked to draw scenery.
  • Her marriage to Jean-Pierre Harrison, a flying instructor and aviation author, showcased a partnership built on mutual support and shared passions for aviation.
  • Kalpana Chawla was a certified pilot with commercial licenses for seaplanes, multi-engine airplanes, and gliders.
  • In 1997, she became the first Indian-origin woman to go to space, marking a historic achievement in her career.
  • The tragic Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, during re-entry over Texas, led to the loss of all seven crew members, including Kalpana Chawla.
  • Posthumously, she received prestigious awards such as the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and NASA Space Flight Medal.
  • In her honor, the Haryana state government established a medical college and hospital worth INR 650 crore.


Kalpana life remains an awe-inspiring journey of determination, passion, and breaking barriers. From her modest beginnings in Karnal to the vastness of space, she left an indelible mark on the history of space exploration. Her legacy lives on through tributes, awards, and the inspiration she continues to provide to generations. As we remember Kalpana Chawla, we honor not only an astronaut but a visionary who reached for the stars and, in doing so, became one.

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Did Kalpana Chawla married?

Yes, Kalpana Chawla was married to Jean-Pierre Harrison. They got married on December 2, 1983, when Kalpana was 21 years old. Unfortunately, their marriage was cut short due to the Columbia disaster in 2003. Jean-Pierre Harrison chose to keep their private life away from the public eye, even turning down offers to make a movie about Kalpana’s life.

Did Kalpana Chawla work with NASA?

Absolutely. Kalpana Chawla joined NASA in March 1995 as part of the NASA Astronaut Corps. She was selected for her first flight in 1996. During her space journey, she eloquently expressed the experience of weightlessness by saying, “You are just your intelligence.” Throughout her career, she traveled an impressive 10.67 million km, equivalent to circling the Earth 252 times.

Is Kalpana Chawla a doctor?

Yes, Kalpana Chawla earned her master’s degree from the University of Texas and completed her doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado in 1988. Her association with NASA’s Ames Research Center began the same year, where she worked on computational fluid dynamics related to powered-lift.

Who is Kalpana Chawla friend?

Kalpana friend and colleague was American astronaut Sunita Williams. Sunita fondly remembers Kalpana as a great friend and mentor. Their bond, formed through shared experiences in space exploration, highlights the camaraderie within the astronaut community.

Did Kalpana Chawla have kids?

No, Kalpana Chawla and her husband Jean-Pierre Harrison did not have any children. They got married in 1983, and despite not having their own family, their relationship stood as a testament to their shared love for aviation. Jean-Pierre Harrison, a French-American flying instructor and author, wrote two books about Kalpana Chawla.

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