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India remembers Kalpana Chawla on her 56th birth anniversary

SNS | New Delhi |

Indian politicians, sports personalities across India on Saturday remembered and celebrated Indian-origin NASA astronaut Kalpana Chawla on her 56th birth anniversary.

Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian-born woman and second Indian to fly in space.

The West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a tweet said; “Remembering astronaut Kalpana Chawla on her birth anniversary”.

Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal, took to Twitter saying that Kalpana Chawla’s “accomplishments will continue to be an inspirational force for youth, especially young girls across the world”.

“Kalpana has inspired us all to follow our dreams and strive for excellence in life”, said VVS Laxman in a tweet.

TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu remembered the “brave daughter of India” on her 56th birth anniversary.

Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi paid his tribute by remembering the woman, who took Indian pride into space. (Translated from Hindi)

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, while calling Kalpana Chawla a “trailblazer” said that, she broke the “glass ceiling many times over”.

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar paid his tribute to Kalpana Chawla and said that “she continues to be an incredible role-model & inspiration as she showed the world that nothing is impossible for women if they have strong will”.

“Kalpana ,a woman who gave wings to her dreams , a symbol of courage and strength. She remains immortal in our hearts and an inspiration for all.:, Cricketer Virender Sehwag said in a tweet.

Mohammad Kaif paid tributes to “first Indian American woman in space”.

In 2003, on the morning of February 1, space shuttle Columbia broke up just 16 minutes from landing on Earth, killing the seven astronauts of the STS-107 mission.

According to NASA, a piece of foam, falling from the external tank during launch, had opened a hole in one of the shuttle’s wings, leading to the breakup of the orbiter upon re-entry.

Born in Karnal, India, on July 1, 1961, Chawla who was the youngest of four children, graduated from Tagore School, Karnal, India, in 1976.

After completing her Bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College, she went on to become an aerospace engineer and an FAA Certified Flight Instructor.

Chawla served as Flight Engineer and Mission Specialist 2 for STS-107 and became the second Indian person to fly in space after astronaut Rakesh Sharma.

The 16-day flight on the STS-107 Columbia, was a dedicated science and research mission. Working 24 hours a day, in two alternating shifts, the crew successfully conducted approximately 80 experiments.

(With agency inputs)