The girl from Karnal in Haryana is the First Indian or Indian American woman to go on a space launch (November 19, 1997) as Mission Specialist of 6 member crew on the fourth US microgravity payload flight on board Columbia on Mission "STS- 87" to study the outer atmosphere of Sun.
She took up on her second voyage on January 16, 2003, the US space shuttle, Columbia blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral (USA) on a 16 day scientific research mission led by
commander Rick Husband. All the seven members were killed when the space shuttle exploded mid-air
minutes before landing on 1.2.2003.
Their main intention was to develop medicines to treat several diseases including cancer.