President A P J Abdul Kalam on Saturday night, in a message to his United States counterpart George W Bush, expressed 'deep pain' over 'the great loss of the Columbia space shuttle and the brave crew members -- seven astronauts'.
"Allow me to convey my heart-felt condolences to the members of the bereaved family... I join you in this hour of grief and pray to the almighty to give us the strength and courage to bear this and move forward," the President said.
He also wrote to Haryana Governor Babu Parmanand condoling the death of Kalpana Chawla, the Indian American astronaut who died in the mishap. Chawla hailed from Karnal, a town in Haryana.
"We in India had been very proud that our own Kalpana Chawla was a part of this space mission. We have tragically, though heroically, lost her... We are proud of you, Kalpana, we salute you," Kalam said in his message to the governor.
The President also conveyed his condolences to Chawla's family members.