20:32 GMT03 March 2021
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    Born in the Indian state of Haryana in 1962, Kalpana Chawla moved to the US when she was 20. In 1997, She made India proud by becoming the first woman of Indian-origin to fly into space as a part of the six-member crew that flew the Space Shuttle Columbia flight STS-87. During the mission, she was responsible for deploying Spartan Satellite.

    Remembering India’s first woman astronaut Kalpana Chawla on the anniversary of her death, a large number of netizens are taking to Twitter to pay tribute to her.

    Kalpana, the first female astronaut of Indian origin to go to space, was one of the seven astronauts who died on board space shuttle Columbia after it disintegrated during its re-entry in the Earth's atmosphere on 1 February 2003. It was her second mission to space.

    The incident occurred when a piece of foam insulation broke off from the space shuttle's external tank and impacted the left wing of the orbiter. When the spacecraft re-entered the atmosphere of the Earth, the internal wing structure was destroyed, leading to the shuttle's explosion.

    Netizens took to Twitter to pay tribute to Kalpana Chawla. One fan wrote, "She was a source of inspiration for millions of women around the world." Another wrote, "The daughter who had the spirit of reaching the sky."

    As per her wish, her mortal remains were cremated and scattered at Zion National Park in Utah, United States.

    Indian authorities renamed satellite MetSat-1 as Kalpana-1 in her memory.

    To honour astronaut Kalpana Chawla, the American space agency NASA named the unmanned Cygnus resupply spacecraft after her last year. Cygnus carries crew supplies, spare equipment, and scientific experiments to the International Space Station (ISS). Earlier NASA had dedicated a supercomputer in her memory.

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