Astronaut Kalpana Chawla was born in India on March 17, 1962. According to the internet, “The name Kalpana means ‘idea’ or ‘imagination.’ Her full name is pronounced CULL-puh-na CHAV-la” (space.com). She was the first woman of Indian origin to go to space. Chawla became an American citizen in 1991 and joined NASA’s Astronaut Corps in 1995. Sadly, she died on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003, when it disintegrated during re-entry. She was 40 years old.
Wikipedia states that “Chawla was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, and several streets, universities, and institutions have been named in her honor. She is regarded as a national hero in India.”