Kalpana Chawla (Astronaut) Biography, Wiki, Age, Family, Husband, Death, Facts & More

Kalpana Chawla, born on 17th of March 1962, was an inspiring lady to the entire world and stated five simple words “The Sky is no limit.’’ Her name itself makes our Indians feel proud. But we have lost a star of India and the United States of America.



Real Name/Full Name/Original Name Kalpana Chawla
Nickname Monto
Profession/Famous For As an Astronaut
Date of Birth 17 March 1962 (Real)
1 July 1961 (Official)
Date of Death 1 February 2003
Place of Birth Karnal, Haryana, India
Place of Death Aboard Space Shuttle Columbia over Texas, U.S. 
Death Cause Space Shuttle Columbia disaster (Accident) which killed all 7 crew members
Age 40 Years (as on 1 February 2003)
Zodiac sign/Sun sign Cancer
Nationality American
Hometown Texas, U.S.
Education Details
School Tagore Bal Niketan School, Karnal
College/University Dyal Singh College, Karnal, Haryana
Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh, India

The University of Texas, Arlington, Texas, U.S.

The University of Colorado, Boulder, U.S.
Educational Qualifications Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas

Second Masters and a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado

FatherBanarasi Lal Chawla
MotherSanjyothi Chawla
Sister- Sunita, Dipa, and 1 other
Religion Hinduism
Hobbies Reading Poetry, playing Badminton, dancing

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Early Life, Education & Career

She completed her schooling from Tagore Bal Niketan from Kamal.


She pursued her Bachelor’s of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab’s Engineering College. Also, she pursued double masters from the University of Texas, and Colorado, and it shows her dedication towards her aim.

In 1988, Kalpana Chawla started her career, and in the same year she has been awarded by a doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado and after this started to work with NASA’S AMES Research Center.

In 1994, she got selected for NASA, and she became one of the most inspirational persons.


She has done her first mission in the year 1997, and it was named SPACE SHUTTLE COLOMBIA With the flight STS – 87 in the same year and she has landed safely with her team on the 5th of October in the year 1997.

Kalpana Chawla is not just a person or an astronaut, but she is the most inspiration with a lot of power to the young aspiring people. But the saddest thing is that she had lost her life on 1st February 2003. But, she is known for her braveness and will be remembered in the upcoming generations too.

There are numerous controversies on her accidental death. She got cremated in Zion National Park in UTAH which was her last wish before her death.

Here we have few points about her death and her mission too, As per the mission of NASA she got selected for going into Space Shuttle STS – 107, launched on the 16th of January in the year 2003.

In the same mission, her teammates were Astronaut Michael Anderson, Astronaut Ilan Ramon, Astronaut Laurel Clark, Pilot William McCool, commander Rick Husband, etc.


It was her 28th mission. When they were returning to the earth in that particular space shuttle and supposed to land was started burning, and exploded near Texas, US.

Physical Stats (Body Measurements) & More

Heightin Feet Inches- 5’ 4”
in meters- 1.63 m
in centimeters- 163 cm (approx.)
Eye Colour Dark Brown
Hair Colour Black


NASA Missions STS-87, STS-107
Combined Time Spent in Space 31 days 14 hours and 54 minutes
Combined Distance Travelled 10.67 million km

Awards (Posthumous)

  • Congressional Space Medal of Honor
  • NASA Space Flight Medal
  • NASA Distinguished Service Medal


Boyfriends, Affairs, Marriage and More

Marital Status Married
Affairs/Boyfriends Jean-Pierre Harrison
Husband/Spouse Jean-Pierre Harrison (flying instructor and an aviation author)
Marriage Date/Year1983
Children Son- Not Known
Daughter- Not Known

Kalpana Chawla Last Video From Space 


Some Unknown Interesting Facts About Kalpana Chawla

  • Kalpana Chawla’s nickname was Manto.
  • Jean-Pierre Harrison was her husband, and he was Flying Instructor and an Aviation Author.
  • She got married in the year 1983.
  • Her father sold candies and soaps, etc. to meet the family’s daily needs due to financial crisis.
  • When she was a kid, she was desired among the stars and moon, and one day she has fixed her aim to become an astronaut.
  • She was always used to be in the listed top 5 students in her class.
    In her honour her name was being allotted to a satellite as KALPANA – 1 which was known named METSAT – 1 and the Prime Minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced this great honour.
  • NASA rewarded her a Super Computer for her dedication towards her hardworking nature and dedication.

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