“These men and women have assumed great risk in the service to all humanity in an age where spaceflight as come to seem almost routine. It is easy to overlook the travels of danger by rocket…These astronauts…[knew] they had a high and noble purpose in life. Because of their courage and daring and idealism, we will miss them all the more.” -Former President George W. Bush after the Columbia tragedy
(1961-2003) Dr. Kalpana Chawla was one of our nation’s astronauts with her selection in 1994. She was born in and grew up in India before moving to the United States to attend graduate school in Texas. She worked at NASA Ames Research Center before selection as an astronaut. Dr. Chawla and her crewmates perished in the Columbia tragedy on Feburary 1, 2003. In her personal life, Dr. Chawla enjoyed hiking and flying, and she held a commercial pilot’s license.