A file picture of mission specialist Kalpana Chawla waving to well wishers as she leaves Kennedy Space Center`s crew quarters with the other crewmembers to board the shuttle Columbia for launch.
A piece of foaming which hit the wing of Colombia during lift-off proved to be ultimately deadly to all seven astronauts onboard. During the re-entry to earth, super-heated gas got inside through the breach in the wing destroying the shuttle.
Chawla died when space shuttle Columbia broke apart in flames on 1 February, 2003 as it returned to Earth from a 16-day mission. The death of Chawla, who was born in Chandigarh, struck an emotional chord among many Indians.AFP