Sunday, July 01, 2012

Happy Birthday, Kalpana

Kalpana Chawla in zero-geeBorn today in 1961, Kalpana Chawla, my favorite astronaut, one of those who died with Columbia. On January 28, 2003, the anniversary of the Challenger disaster and only a few days before Columbia went to join her sister ship, she looked out the window and saw the sunset overtaking the day, and the light and dark sides of Earth together. This is what she said later about that moment:

More than Stars in their Eyes
halfEarthIn the retina of my eye,
the whole Earth and the sky
could be seen reflected.
So I called all the crew members one by one,
and they saw it,
and everybody said,
"Oh, wow!"

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