Sirisha Bandla made news on July 11 when she became the second Indian-origin woman to travel to space as a member of Virgin Space Ship Unity. Bandla, who was raised in Andhra Pradesh, would be one of six passengers on Virgin Galactic's 'VSS Unity,' which will take off from New Mexico with the company's creator Richard Branson.
After Kalpana Chawla, a Telugu lady from Andhra's Guntur region who grew up in Houston will become the second Indian-born woman to travel into space. Prior to Bandla, Rakesh Sharma and Sunita Williams were the only two Indians to go into space.
The 34-year-old aviation engineer took to Twitter to express his dissatisfaction with the current state of the industry. "I am so incredibly honored 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.
Dr Ragaiah, Bandla's paternal grandpa, told news agency ANI that Sirisha is bold and powerful while making judgments."I am overwhelmed with joy and happiness that my second granddaughter is going to space. She has been very brave right from the beginning and is a very strong decision-maker. She completed her schooling in the US. She has always had a fascination for the sky," said the 85-year-old.
Sirisha graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering in 2011 and moved on to pursue her MBA at George Washington University in 2015.
After finishing her education, she entered Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic and is now the Vice President of Government Affairs at the British-American spaceflight business.
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