Chawla was borm in Karnal, India. She completed her eariler schooling at Tagore Baal NIketan Senior Secondary School, Karnal. She 1s the 1irst inadian-born woman and he second person in space Irom this sub-contunent. Alter graduating in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, India, in 1982, Chawla moved to the United States the same year. She obtained her Master's degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University offexas in 1984. Later she did her Ph.D in Aerospace Bngineering in 1988 from the Uníversity of Colorado. Determined to become an astronaut even in the tace of the Challenger disaster 1986 that broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. Chawla joined NASA in 1988. She began working as a Vice President where she did Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) research on vertical take-olf and landing. In 1991 she got U.S citizenship and started ner career as a NASA astronaut in 1995. She was selected for her first llight in 1996. She spoke the tollowing words while travelling in the welghtlessness of space, YOu are just your intelligence. She had travelled 10.67 million miles, as many as 252 times around the Earth. Her first space mission (Mission StTS 87) began on 19 November 1997 with six otherastronauts on the Space Shutte Columbia. On her first mission that lasted for 15 days. 16-hours, 34 minutes and 4 seconds she travelled 6.5 milion miles. She was responsible todeploying the Spartan Satellite which however malfunctioned, necessitating a spacewall-by Winston Scott and Tako Dol. two of her fellow astronauts. to retrieve the satellite In 2000 she was selected for her second space mission STS 107. his mission wa repeatedly delaved due to schedulimg (HRPIDS) conflicts HAT) and technical problems... earlier,,,,,,,
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