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Kalpana Chawla an inspiration: Virender Sehwag leads tributes for late astronaut

Kalpana Chawla was remembered on her birth anniversary on Friday, with former India cricketers Virender Sehwag and Mohammad Kaif leading the sports fraternity in tributes for the late astronaut

cricket Updated: Mar 17, 2017 14:25 IST
Sean Sequeira
Kalpana Chawla,Virender Sehwag,Mohammad Kaif
Kalpana Chawla was one of the seven astronauts killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003.

Kalpana Chawla became the first woman of Indian origin to go to space in 1997. She was lauded for her achievement and praised for being a path breaker.

Several honours were bestowed on her posthumously including the naming of an asteroid and a satellite after her name.

A hill in the Columbia Hills on the planet Mars was also named after her; it is called Chawla Hill.

She was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, NASA Space Flight Medal and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal as well.

She is still remembered the world over, with a particular fondness by Indians, years after her tragic death in 2003.

March 17, 2017 marks the 54th anniversary of her birth and several Indians took to Twitter on Friday to express their gratitude for the inspiration she gave them.

Leading the way in wishes and tributes were former Indian cricketers Virender Sehwag and Mohammad Kaif, and Olympic bronze-winning pugilist Vijender Singh.

Sehwag wrote that Chawla was “an inspiration and symbol of courage and strength”, while Kaif called her “India’s immortal daughter”.

Vijender simply tipped his hat to the fellow Haryana-born Chawla by posting: “Naman to #KalpanaChawla , born in Karnal and the first woman of Indian origin in space , on her birth anniversary. A Star forever.”

First Published: Mar 17, 2017 12:21 IST