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Chawla, Kalpana (1961–2003)

Chawla, Kalpana (1961–2003)

India-born astronaut. Name variations: KC. Born July 1, 1961, in Karnal, Haryana, India; died Feb 1, 2003, when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over the southern US; graduated from Tagore School (1976); Punjab Engineering College, India, BS in aeronautical engineering (1982); University of Texas at Arlington, MS in aerospace engineering (1984); University of Colorado, PhD in aerospace engineering (1988); became a US citizen; m. Jean-Pierre Harrison (flying instructor), 1984.

Selected for space program (1994); made maiden shuttle flight STS-87 Columbia as mission specialist and prime robotic arm operator (Nov 19-Dec 5, 1997); member of the flight crew of the STS-107 Columbia (Jan 16-Feb 1, 2003) who successfully conducted 80 experiments before the mission ended abruptly on reentry, 16 minutes prior to scheduled landing. Held a Certified Flight Instructor's license with airplane and glider ratings and Commercial Pilot's licenses for single- and multi-engine land and seaplanes, and Gliders, and instrument rating for airplanes.

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