Kalpana Chawla 16th Death Anniversary: Twitterati Pay Tribute to India’s First Female Astronaut
Kalpana Chawla (Wikimedia Commons)

Mumbai, February 1: Tributes poured for Kalpana Chawla, the first woman of Indian origin in space, on her 16th death anniversary on Friday, 1st February 2019. Chawla, 40, died on February 1, 2003. She was one of the seven crew members who died in the Space Shuttle Colombia disaster in 2003 when the spacecraft disintegrated during its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. Even sixteen years after her death, Chawla continues to inspire everyone in India and countries abroad. Kalpana Chawla, An Inspirational Video: Know Interesting Facts About India's First Woman Astronaut on Her 56th Birth Anniversary. 

Remembering Kalpana Chawla, many Indians including several political leaders paid homage to their 'lost star' on Twitter.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took to Twitter and said Kalpana may have gone from this world, but her achievements continue to inspire everyone. "Tributes to Kalpana Chawla on her death anniversary. Kalpana may have gone from this world, but her life and achievements continue to inspire everyone around the globe. She is a true inspiration for young girls who dare to dream beyond the stars", he tweeted.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Ghelot paid tributes to Kalpana Chawla on the 16th death anniversary. "Humble tributes to Kalpana Chawla, the first woman of Indian origin in space on her death anniversary. She would always be a source of inspiration as a courageous achiever and give strength to young people especially women", he said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh remembered Chawla and said she continues to inspire all, especially young women, who aspire to become astronauts. "Humble tributes to Kalpana Chawla on her death anniversary. It has been 16 years since she left us in the Columbia Space Shuttle mishap. We remember her for her astronomical achievements. She continues to inspire all, especially young women, who aspire to become astronauts", he added.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar remembered Chawla's numerous achievements. "Remembering Haryana ki Beti, Kalpana Chawla on her Punyatithi. Her numerous achievements include being the first Indian women astronaut to travel to space. Her life and journey is an inspiration to the youth, especially young girls in India & around the world", Khattar tweeted.

Kalpana Chawla was born on March 17, 1962 in Punjab's Karnal, now Haryana. She graduated from Tagore School in Karnal in 1976 and completed her aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College in 1982. It was in the same year that she moved to the United States where she completed her Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1984. Chawla was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.