Kalpana Chawla Essay

500+ Words Essay on Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla was the first woman of Indian origin to go to space. She is an inspiration to millions of women who want to build their careers in aerospace. Kalpana Chawla said that she never dreamed, as a child, that she would cross the frontiers of space. It was enough that her parents allowed her to attend engineering college after her graduation. She was a lady who was passionate about her dream and worked hard towards it to make those dreams come true. With the help of this essay on Kalpana Chawla, students will get to know about her life story. They can also check out the list of CBSE Essays to practise more essays on different topics and boost their writing skills.

Life Story of Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla was born on 17th March 1962 in a small place, Karnal, in Haryana, India. She was a naturalised U.S. citizen and married to flight instructor Jean-Pierre Harrison. She loved flying, hiking, backpacking, and reading books. She held a Certificated Flight Instructor’s licence with aeroplane and glider ratings, Commercial Pilot’s licence for single and multi-engine land, seaplanes, gliders and instrument ratings for aeroplanes. She enjoyed flying aerobatics and tail-wheel aeroplanes.

Educational Background

Kalpana Chawla completed her graduation in 1976 from Tagore School in Karnal, India. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College in India in 1982. She then moved to the United States to pursue her graduate education. In 1984 she received a Master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas, and a PhD in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado in 1988.

Kalpana Chawla’s First Space Mission

Kalpana’s first space mission in the space shuttle, Columbia, was 15 days, 16 hours and 34 minutes long. During this time, she went around the Earth 252 times, travelling 10.45 million kilometres! The crew included a Japanese and a Ukrainian astronaut. The crew performed experiments such as pollinating plants to observe food growth in space and tests for making stronger metals and faster computer chips, all for a price tag of about 56 million dollars.

When the news about the Columbia disaster broke, there was shock and disbelief. While returning to Earth, the space shuttle disintegrates 16 minutes prior to its scheduled landing. Thus the life of all the crew members, including Kalpana Chawla, ended. The town of Karnal spent a sleepless night as thousands of households stayed glued to their television sets in the hope that Kalpana and the crew had somehow survived. But, they all died in the accident.

Kalpana Chawla, a girl from a small town who touched the skies, had become an inspiration for millions of young Indians. In a message that Kalpana Chawla sent from aboard the space shuttle, Columbia, to students of her college in Chandigarh, said, “The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get onto it. Wishing you a great journey.” There will surely be many who start off on this journey to fulfil their dreams.

Students must have found this essay on “Kalpana Chawla” useful for improving their essay-writing skills. They can get the study material and the latest updates on CBSE/ICSE/State Board/Competitive Exams, at BYJU’S.

Frequently Asked Questions on Kalpana Chawla Essay


What is Kalpana Chawla known for?

Kalpana Chawla became the first Indian-born woman to go into space in the year 1997.


Where was Kalpana Chawla born?

Kalpana Chawla was born in Karnal (Haryana state).


What was the famous message given by Kalpana Chawla?

In a message sent from the space shuttle Kalpana Chawla had mentioned that ‘The path from dreams to success does exist’.


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