Sirisha, the second India-born woman to fly to space

RNS: Sirisha Bandla (34), an India-born woman, was brought up in Houston, Texas, to fly into space on 11 July. She would be the second Indian woman after Kalpana Chawla and the fourth Indian-origin to fly into space after Rakesh Sharma, Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.

Sirisha will fly to space with UK billionaire and founder of the Virgin Galactic – a leading American private space agency – Richard Branson. She is a member of a six-person crew, and she will be providing personal assistance on the Unity22 mission for the researcher.

She is an aeronautical engineer; she was born in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district and brought up in Houston, Texas. Sirisha graduated from Purdue University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and then obtained her MBA in 2015 from George Washington University.

Later after completing her studies, she joined Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, and presently she is the Vice President of Government Affairs at the British-American spaceflight company.

“I am so incredibly honored to be a part of the amazing crew of Unity 22, and to be a part of a company whose mission is to make space available to all,” Sirisha tweeted.

Virgin Galactic spaceflight Unity 22 will be making its first fully crewed rocket-powered test flight on July 11. The six-member team includes Richard Branson founder of Virgin Galactic, Sirisha Bandla, Dave Mackay, Michael Masucci, Colin Bennett, and Beth Moses. The spaceflight will be globally live-streamed. Moreover, Richard Branson also wrote on his social media account that upon their return, he will announce details on how more people will be given a chance to become an astronaut.


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