sts 87

Brooks Kraft/Sygma via Getty Images

Derek Walcott’s work explored the beauty of his Caribbean homeland and its brutal colonial history. The prolific, Nobel Prize-winning poet and playwright died Friday at his home in St. Lucia. He was 87.

Walcott wrote dozens of books of poetry and plays, among them his epic poem Omeros and his Obie-winning drama, Dream on Monkey Mountain.

Find our full remembrance here.

– Petra

4

JUNE 1 - KALPANA CHAWLA

In 1997, Kalpana Chawla became the first Indian woman to travel in space. She acted as the mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator on flight STS-87 of the Space Shuttle Columbia, traveling over 6.5 million miles in 252 orbits of Earth and logging more than 372 hours in space.

Chawla was selected as a crew member for flight STS-107 three years later. After multiple delays due to scheduling conflicts and technical difficulties, she returned to space on January 16, 2003 to spend approximately sixteen days in orbit conducting a series of experiments on microgravity and other topics. 

Tragically, Space Shuttle Columbia encountered some difficulty reentering the Earth’s atmosphere, disintegrating over Texas and resulting in the death of Chawla and her six fellow crew members on flight STS-107. She has been memorialized through scholarship funds, college dormitories, hostels and more established in her name, including the Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College in her birthplace of Karnal Haryana, India.