Kalpana Chawla was born in 1962 and died in 2003. An Indian-American astronaut and engineer, she was the first woman of Indian descent to go into space. She flew on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialist and robotic arm operator. She was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, and several streets, universities, and institutions have been named in her honor in India. She is considered a national hero there.