Date Of Birth: 1961-07-01, Occupation: Scientist | Engineer | Mechanical engineer | Aerospace Engineer | Astronaut | Aviator » Kalpana Chawla was an Indian-American astronaut who, was a mission specialist on the space shuttle Columbia. She first flew on the Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator. Chawla was one of seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
Chawla completed her earlier schooling at Tagore Public School, Karnal and her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Punjab Engineering College at Chandigarh in 1982. She moved to the United States in 1982 and obtained a M.S. degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1984. Chawla went on to earn a second M.S. degree in 1986 and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering in 1988 from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Later that year she began working at the NASA Ames Research Center as vice president of Overset Methods, Inc. where she did CFD research on Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing concepts.