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Kalpana Chawla was born on March 17, 1961 in Karnal, Haryana to a family that emigrated to India during the Partition. Kalpana’s father Banarasi Lal Chawla worked several jobs, eventually opening a factory. Her mother was considered a liberal and encouraged Kalpana to study. She was the first in Indian woman to land on space.

The life and career of Kalpana Chawla served as an inspiration for women who dream of becoming an astronaut one day.