After returning from the historic spaceflight, Indian-American astronaut Sirisha Bandla on Wednesday thanked Vice President Venkaiah Naidu for his kind words. Taking to her Twitter handle, the Indian-American astronaut said that she is immensely proud to carry a bit of Indi to space with her. “Always grateful for the well wishes from the land of my childhood and family,” Sirisha Bandla added.
Thank you Honarable Vice President Venkaiah Naidu gaaru for your kind words! Immensely proud to carry a bit of India to space with me. Always grateful for the well wishes from the land of my childhood and family. https://t.co/O9ylt7V41l
— Sirisha Bandla (@SirishaBandla) July 14, 2021
VP Venkaiah Naidu congratulates Sirisha Bandla
This statement by Bandla came after Venkiaha Naidu on July 11 had congratulated her for becoming the second India-born woman to fly into space. Taking to his official Twitter handle, the Vice President had said that Sirisha Bandla’s achievement will motivate many girls in India and abroad to take up challenging careers.
Glad to know that Sirisha Bandla became the second India-born woman to fly into space. Her achievement will motivate many more young girls in India & abroad to take up challenging careers. Heartiest congratulations to Sirisha Bandla, her parents and mentors! pic.twitter.com/ncGPiH07i9
— Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) July 11, 2021
Richard Branson carries crewmate Sirisha on shoulders after a successful mission
Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson on July 11 carried Indian-American crew member Sirisha Bandla on his shoulders while celebrating the historic spaceflight of his company’s vessel to the edge of space. On Sunday, Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity blasted off from New Mexico finishing the first successful fully crewed mission including Branson and Bandla. The Indian-American’s role was that of a researcher experience. While Branson hailed the mission as his dream of 17 years being completed, he celebrated the moment by inspiring words and also by carrying Bandla on his shoulders as smiles beamed across the area.
Bandla, who graduated from Purdue University was only the second Indian-born woman to go into space after Kalpana Chawla and only the fourth Indian to fly to space, was born in Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. Reportedly she grew up in Houston, Texas and had started working at Branson’s 2004-founded Virgin Galactic in 2015 and is presently the vice president of government affairs at the company. Ahead of the historic spaceflight, Bandla had said, “I am so incredibly honoured to be a part of the amazing crew of Unity 22.”
The Virgin Galactic vessel reached a peak altitude of around 53 miles (85 kilometres) which is beyond the boundary of space set by the United States allowing all six passengers including Branson to experience weightlessness and admire the Earth’s curvature. Even though the company was prepared for any unprecedented situations, the trip preceded as planned. The touchdown occurred around 9:40 AM Mountain Time (1540 GMT) nearly an hour after take-off.
(Image: PTI, Twitter-SirishaBandla)
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