CU Graduate Dies

The University of Colorado is mourning the death of graduate Kalpana Chawla on the space shuttle Columbia. She's the second CU grad to die in a shuttle disaster. Ellison Onizuka died in the Challenger explosion in January, 1986.

Chawla was born in Karnal, India and received an aeronautical
engineering degree from Punjab Engineering College in 1982.

She immigrated to the United States in the 1980s, earning a
master's from the University of Texas in 1984 and a doctorate from
CU in 1988. She became an astronaut in 1994 and logged 376 hours in
space during her first shuttle flight in 1997.

Chawla also held a flight instructor's license with airplane and glider ratings. In her spare time, she flew aerobatics airplanes.