Before you read

In 1997, an Indian – American, Kalpana Chawla, was part of the international crew aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle, Columbia, becoming the first woman born in India to go into space. Sadly, the second mission in Columbia ended in tragedy.
A News Report:
                   Tragedy in Space
           U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia
                  breaks into flames
In an unprecedented
space tragedy, U.S. Space
Shuttle Columbia, carrying
India-born American astronaut
Kalpana Chawla and six others,    
broke apart in flames as
it streaked over Texas
towards its landing strip
on Saturday, 1 February 2003,
killing all seven on board.
     The shuttle lost contact
with NASA at about 9 a.m.
(19.30 hrs. 1ST) as it came
in for landing. It was flying
at an altitude of over
200,000 feet and travelling
at over 20,000 km. per hour
when ground control lost
contact with the shuttle.
     Columbia had lifted off
on 16  January 2003, from
the Kennedy Space Center,
Florida. It had stayed
in orbit for 16 days and
the seven-member crew
conducted 80  experiments
before it began its downward
journey, which ended in
tragedy. This was Columbia’s
28th space flight and the
shuttle was said to be good
for 100 flights.
The above paragraphs serve as an introduction in which the writer first summarises the entire lesson; he/she talks about a tragic event of the Columbia - a space shuttle exploding while coming back from space. The newspaper clipping gives us details of how and where the explosion happened. All the seven people who were on board died in the explosion. It was a sad day for Americans, Indians and humankind, as well as the occupants of Columbia, were some of the brightest minds to exist in that day.
space shuttle.jpg
A photograph of Columbia launching (Picture does not relate to the original space shuttle, used only for understanding)
One of the victims of this accident was Kalpana Chawla, a Haryana born, Indian-American astronaut. This is the person around whom the entire chapter is centred. The chapter further goes on to relate how Kalpana Chawla transformed herself from a Haryana based aeronautical engineering graduate to an icon who made millions of Indians proud.
Meanings of difficult words:
No. WordMeaning
A team of people who are skilled in different departments, trained to work together as a single unit.
TragedyAny happening that makes us very sad.
SummariseTo explain any lengthy topic in a few short lines.
On boardTo be inside any vehicle that travels.
VictimAny person who has been harmed or killed.
InboundTo move towards a target.
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Honeysuckle. An Indian - American Woman in Space: Kalpana Chawla (pp. 45-53). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.