I found it strange that Wikipedia does not mention that an orchid variety had been named after Astronaut Kalpana Chawla who died in Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy. The year was 2003 couple of months after her death the then Prime Minster of India Atal Bihari Vajpee was on his first visit to the Himalayan State of Sikkim. Two new orchid varieties created by K.C. Pradhan, Former Chief Secretary of Sikkim and his son Sailesh Pradhan, both famed Orchid specialist from Sikkim was kept at Orchid Flower Show, Gangtok. An orchid variety Dendrobium Atal Bihari Vajpayee was named after Atal Bihari Vajpee to mark his first visit to Sikkim while when asked to name the second variety, he simply replied “Kalpana Chawla”. Brassocattleya Astronaut Kalpana Chawla was than named after Kalpana Chawla.
The Royal Horticultural Society lists the Brassocattleya Astronaut Kalpana Chawla in its March - May 2003 Registrations as a cross of Cattleya Hawaiian Wedding Song X Brassocattleya Professor Yashpal and registered by Keshab Pradhan. Dendrobium Atal Bihari Vajpayee is also found along the lists that provide information that it is a cross of Dendrobium. nobile x Dendrobium. Polka.