India-origin woman Sirisha Bandla will travel to the edge of the space aboard ‘VSS Unity’ of Virgin Galactic, which is scheduled to fly off on July 11 from New Mexico. This is significant as she will be the third woman of Indian origin to go to space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.
Bandla, the vice-president of government affairs at Virgin Galactic in Washington DC, will travel alongside his boss and the group’s founder, billionaire Richard Branson and four others in the company’s spaceflight. Bandla will take care of the researcher experience of Unity22 mission.
The 34-year-old hails from Guntur, Andhra Pradesh in India. She moved to the United States at the age of four along with her family. She graduated from the school of aeronautics and astronautics at Purdue University, Indiana. Bandla also has a masters degree in Business Administration from Georgetown University.
Taking to Twitter to share the news, Bandla said she was “incredibly honoured” to be part of the crew. “I am so incredibly honoured to be a part of the amazing crew of Unity22, and to be a part of a company whose mission is to make space available to all,” she posted.
Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu also congratulated the astronautical engineer on Twitter. “Indian-origin women continue to break the proverbial glass ceiling and prove their mettle. On July 11th, Sirisha Bandla with Telugu roots is set to fly to space aboard VSS Unity with Richard Branson and the team marking the dawn of the new space age, making all Indians proud!,” the Chief Minister tweeted.
On June 2, Branson announced that he will make a spaceflight on July 11, earlier than billionaire Jeff Bezos. The Amazon founder is also going to make a spaceflight onboard the New Shepard spaceship, which is scheduled for July 20.
“I’ve always been a dreamer. My mum taught me to never give up and to reach for the stars. On July 11, it’s time to turn that dream into a reality aboard the next @VirginGalactic spaceflight,” Branson tweeted while making the announcement.
This Article firstly Publish on www.hindustantimes.com