Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian woman in space, tragically died on February 1, 2003.

She was part of the Space Shuttle Columbia's crew, which disintegrated during re-entry.

Chawla's journey began in Karnal, India, and led her to NASA through her academic achievements.

She was a key member of the STS-107 mission, dedicated to scientific research.

The 16-day mission involved earth science, astronomy, and physics experiments.

The shuttle's re-entry was marred by a foam insulation impact, damaging its thermal protection system.

Despite damage, the shuttle continued descent, but disaster struck on February 1, 2003.

The Columbia disintegrated over Texas, resulting in the tragic loss of all seven crew members.

The Columbia disaster spurred safety improvements and reaffirmed the risks of space exploration.

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