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UT-Arlington honors alumna killed aboard shuttle

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm •  Published: February 1, 2013

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The North Texas university where Kalpana Chawla earned her master's degree in aerospace engineering has honored her on the 10th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia crash.

She was part of the seven-member crew who died in the disaster.

The University of Texas at Arlington marked the anniversary at 7:59 a.m. Friday. That's the moment when NASA Mission Control lost radio contact with the shuttle as it broke apart over Texas during its descent following a 16-day science mission.

In front of Kalpana Chawla Hall, a residence hall on the UTA campus, several dozen students released biodegradable white balloons in Chawla's memory.

University spokeswoman Bridget Lewis says about 50 science and engineering students held a vigil Thursday night. Lewis says the students were inspired as they heard of Chawla's accomplishments.