Kalpana Chawla made history as the first Indian-American /India born woman to go to space on the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-87 in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator.
In 2003, Chawla was one of the seven crew members who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster when the craft disintegrated during its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
Over the course of her two missions, Chawla logged 30 days, 14 hours, and 54 minutes in space.
She was posthumously honored with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, NASA Space Flight Medal, and NASA Distinguished Service Medal.
After her first launch, she said, "When you look at the stars and the galaxy, you feel that you are not just from any particular piece of land, but from the solar system."
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