A nice write-up about Kalpana Chawla by Julian Matthews, who runs an independent media company called TriNetizen. Thanks to the exhuastive research done by him, I came to know of unknown tidbits of info on Kalpana.
– She was called “K.C” by her NASA colleagues.
– Her family members called her “Montu”.
– She was the youngest daughter of tire factory owner, Banarsi Lal and housewife Sanyogita.
– She was the only girl in the Aeronautical Branch at Punjab Engineering College.
– She wed Jean-Pierre Harrison in 1984. They had no children.
– The same year she graduated from University of Texas with a master’s in aerospace engineering.
– She joined University of Colorado for her Ph.D.
– Tragically the same college in which Ellison Onizuka, who died in the Challenger explosion on Jan 28th, 1986, attended.
– She was chosen by NASA from 2962 applicants
– She was a strict vegetarian.
– Her meals in space included rice pilaf, tortillas, garden split-pea soup, nuts and dried fruits, cheese spread and tea.
– During her space mission, she carried Music CDs of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Hariprasad Chaurasia and Ravi Shankar.
– During her 1997 space expedition, she was in space for 16 days and travelled 6.5 million miles.
Go ahead, read the full article for many more insights. Julian has given permission to reproduce the article in its entirety.