Kalpana Chawla: India’s First Woman Astronaut

by Dilip M. Salwi

  1. ISBN: 978-81-291-3995-5
  2. Pages: 88 pages
  3. Date: February 2016


Born in a traditional family of Karnal, Haryana, Kalpana Chawla had an unlikely background and unfavourable climate for becoming an astronaut. Braving opposition from her father and even some of her teachers, Kalpana, however, literally reached for the stars, by becoming an aerospace engineer.

Described as a ‘terrific engineer’ by NASA, she went to space not once but twice. This book tells the story of the perseverance that enabled her to reach these heights. Through it she remained simple, approachable and grounded, known as ‘KC’ to her colleagues and ‘Kalpana Didi’ to her young friends. Her promising life ended tragically when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated in space on 1 February 2003. Her indomitable spirit, however, will continue to inspire us for all time to come.


Dilip M Salwi is a Delhi based science writer and a winner of several national awards and fellowships for popularising science. He has also written science fictions and plays involving science and scientists. Several of his books including Scientists of India, The Robots Are Coming and Folk Tales of Science are bestsellers.

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