Friday, 18 August 2017


1.  What was the tragedy?
Answer- The tragedy is talked about the an unprecedented space tragedy, U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia, carrying India-born American astronaut Kalpana Chawla and six others, broke apart in flames as it streaked over Texas towards its landing strip on Saturday, 1 February 2003, killing all seven on board.

2.  When the space shuttle Columbia did lost contact and how was the speed of the space shuttle?

Answer- Before meeting the tragic accident the space shuttle lost contact with NASA at about 9 a.m. (19.30 hrs 1ST) as it came in for landing. It was flying at an altitude 200,000 feet and travelling at over 20,000 km. per hour when ground control lost contact with the shuttle.

3.  Tell us about the Columbia space shuttle?

Answer- Columbia had lifted off on 16 January 2003, from the Kennedy Space Center,
Florida. It had stayed in orbit for 16 days and the seven-member crew conducted 80 experiments before it began its downward journey, which ended in tragedy. This was Columbia’s 28th space flight and the shuttle was said to be good for 100 flights.

4.  Acquaint us with Kalpana Chala’s Educational journey.

Answer-  After Kalpana Chawla graduated from Tagore School, she joined an engineering college. After attaining a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering, she went for a master’s degree to the United States of America. She later earned her Ph.D.
5.  How did people react for Kalpana’s being the first Indian American to go into the space?

Ans- Though her father had opposed her going America to pursue higher degrees initially, later her whole family and other people from India cheered her when she with other crew members blast off into the space from the  launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and participate in a successful mission in space.

6.  Why is Kalpana Chawla called as Indian- American?

Ans- Kalpana Chawla is called as Indian-American because she was born in Karnal, Haryana, India and later he became a naturalised U.S. citizen as she married to flight instructor Jean-Pierre Harrison, an American.

7.  Besides being an astronaut what other qualities did Kalpana Chawla have?

Answer- Besides being an astronaut, Kalpana Chawla was licensed to fly single and multiengine land airplanes, single-engine seaplanes and gliders. She was also a certified flight instructor.

8.  How was Kalpana Chawla chosen for an astronaut in NASA?

Answer – After Kalpana Chawla had qualified as a pilot, she made her mind to have a new challenge, i. e. applying to NASA’s space shuttle program. She went for it and she was first hired as a research scientist at NASA. Finally In 1994 she was selected by NASA for training as an astronaut.

9.  When she was asked what it was like being a woman in her field what did she reply?

Answer- She replied that she had really never, ever thought, while pursuing her studies or doing anything else, that she had been a woman, or a person from a small city, or a different country. She pretty much had had her dreams like anyone else and she had followed them. And people who had been around her, fortunately, always had encouraged her and said that if that was what she wanted, then she must carry it on.

10.                   Describe Kalpana Chawla’s first mission in the space.

Answer- Kalpana’s first space mission in the space shuttle, Columbia, was 15 days, 16 hours and 34 minutes long. During this time she went around the earth 252 times, travelling 10.45 million kilometres! The crew included a Japanese and a Ukranian astronaut. The crew performed experiments such as pollinating plants to observe food growth in space, and tests for making stronger metals and faster computer chips — all for a price tag of about 56 million dollars.

11.                   When the news of the Disaster of the space tragedy broke how did the people react?

Answer- It was the Saturday night. When the news of the disaster broke, people had been in utter shock and disbelief. The town of Karnal spent a sleepless night as thousands of households stayed glued to their television sets in the hope that Kalpana and the crew had somehow survived.

12.                   What according to a journalist are the necessary qualities to become an astronaut?

Answer- According to a journalist, it takes enormous ability to become an astronaut. You need to know a lot about everything, from biology to astrophysics to aeronautical engineering. In this age of super-specialisation, you must have encyclopaedic knowledge to be an astronaut.

13.                   What did Kalpana say in her message that she sent from aboard the space shuttle, Columbia, to students of her college in Chandigarh?

Answer- In a message that she sent from aboard the space shuttle, Columbia, to students of her college in Chandigarh, Kalpana said that the path from dreams to success does exist. Students must have the vision to find it, the courage to get onto it. And then she wished all a great journey.