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Kalpana Chawla and her shocking reason of death

The Girl who taught the world to have big dreams

Kalpana Chawla is known as the first American woman astronaut to fly to space. This is what she is mostly known for. But there are a lot more things she did which made her special, forever.
First of all, her name itself meant ‘Imagination’. As, ‘Kalpana’ means ‘imagination’ in Hindi.
And oh my goodness! The imagination and dreams that she had since her childhood is what have shaped her into the woman whom we know today.
During a decade when our society wasn’t ready to accept women working outside of the house or driving cars, she aimed to become an aerospace engineer.
These days, it’s very normal for women to study aerospace engineering or fly aircraft.
But especially for a girl from a small town in the state of Haryana, India, she had to overcome many barriers before becoming an aerospace engineer

Kalpana Chawla | Credit : NASA |

Kalpana Chawla as an inspiration :

The reason why I decided to write about her is that she has been an inspiration to me since a very young age. When I was just 4 or 5 years old, my mom used to read a particular book to me.
It was a yellow-colored book with a cartoonish cover to attract children. It mainly consisted of important topics of science explained in a very easy way so that even a 5-year-old could understand.
The way complex concepts of astrophysics such as black holes were explained there, made it more interesting.
And that was when my mom told me about Kalpana Chawla. That was exactly what inspired me since that day.
Of course, I am neither an astronaut nor an astrophysicist today. But all in all, her journey inspired me to dream big and believe that it is possible to achieve those dreams

The super woman :

Coming back to our superwoman, Kalpana Chawla did achieve her goals and after a lot of struggle, she became the first woman to step on the moon. How amazing, right?
But the worst part is when their space shuttle could not land properly during re-entry to Earth. Unfortunately, along with Kalpana, the full crew was burnt down.
That sounds absolutely horrific! I know!There’s something I recently learned that I wanted to share with the world. The fact that their space shuttle did not crash accidentally that day , is not known by everyone

Was Kalpana Chawla’s death an accident ?

After getting established as a renowned astronaut,Kalpana Chawla was involved in the tragic Columbia disaster that occurred in 2003. The Columbia disaster unfolded when a large piece of foam insulation detached from the external fuel tank during launch.

This impact damaged the spacecraft’s wing, creating a breach that remained undetected. During re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, the extreme heat exploited this weakness, causing the Columbia to break apart and tragically claiming the lives of all seven crew members, including Kalpana Chawla on a different mission.

Irresponsibility leading to severe consequences :

Following the disaster, Ron Dittemore, who held the position of Associate Administrator for Space Flight at NASA, faced immense criticism for the agency’s handling of the known issue of foam shedding and overall management of the Space Shuttle program. This pressure ultimately led to his resignation from NASA in 2003.

The Columbia disaster remains a significant event in space exploration history, highlighting the importance of meticulous safety protocols and comprehensive risk assessments in complex endeavors.So, as you can see now, the whole life of Kalpana Chawla has been so tragic.

Kalpana Chawla wearing space suit
Credit – NASA

However, it makes me think that even though she passed away that day . Her journey will always be remembered .

She has set big example that it is possible for women to achieve anything.Of course, the technology at that time was also not as good as what we have today. There is no way to deny the fact that because of that unfortunate crash that very day, the world lost one of the most precious gems. We may not even find another gem like her again.

But, in the end, it all seems like Kalpana actually came to this world just to set an example. The moment she achieved her dreams, she left the Earth forever.But her courage and determination will keep on inspiring little girls that one day they can achieve everything that they dream of.

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