Kalpana Chawla and her colleagues died while space shuttle Columbia crashed in Texas. Following is a short profile of the crewmembers.
Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist: She did her college education in Punjab, India, before going to Texas to do her masters in aerospace engineering. Chawla, 41, was an avid flier and held certified flight instructor's licence with airplane and glider ratings, commercial pilot's licences for single and multiengine land and sea planes. She was the prime robotic arm operator on a shuttle flight in 1997.
Rick D Husband, Commander: The 45-year-old US air force colonel and mechanical engineer had piloted a shuttle flight in 1999.
William C McCool, Pilot: This was the 40-year-old's first foray into space. The US navy commander was responsible for manoeuvring the shuttle as part of several experiments.
Michael P Anderson, Payload Commander: The US air force lieutenant colonel and physicist, who was 42 years old, had gone into orbit in 1998 in a shuttle flight that docked with the Russian space station Mir. He was responsible for the shuttle science mission.
David M Brown, Mission Specialist: This was the US navy captain's first foray into space. Brown, 46, an aviator and flight surgeon, was working on some experiments.
Laurel Clark, Mission Specialist: A medical school graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Clark was taking part in a variety of biological experiments. This was the 41-year-old's first journey into space.
Ilan Ramon, Payload Specialist: Ramon, 47, was the first Israeli astronaut to go into space. A former fighter pilot in the Israeli air force, he was involved in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and the Lebanon War in 1982.