Meet Sirisha Bandla, the second Indian woman to create history by travelling to space

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After Kalpana Chawla, Sirisha Bandla is set to create history by flying to space on July 11, 2021. The 34-year-old aeronautical engineer will be one among the six-member crew in Virgin Galactic.

Sirisha Bandla, an Indian-American, will be one of the six passengers on Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson’s VSS Unity when it launches from New Mexico on July 11. Sirisha Bandla’s role as astronaut No. 4 will be that of a researcher.

Second Indian-American To Travel To Space

Sirisha Bandla
Image: Instagram/ Sirisha Bandla

The two female crew members on the expedition will be Sirisha Bandla and Beth Moses. After Kalpana Chawla, the 34-year-old aeronautical engineer from Purdue University will be the second Indian-born woman in space and the fourth Indian to fly into space.

Bandla expressed her joy on Twitter, saying she felt “very honoured” to be a part of the crew.

“I am so tremendously honoured to be a member of the incredible crew of #Unity22, and to be a part of a company whose aim is to make space accessible to everyone,” she tweeted with a video of the team.

Last month, Sirisha Bandla told Space.com that the Virgin Galactic mission will take between 60 and 75 minutes to complete and would take off and land at Virgin Galactic’s Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Sirisha Bandla was born in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, and grew up in Houston, Texas, as per reports.

“I’ve always admired her will to reach success, and now she’ll be able to realize her ambition. The New Indian Express described Sirisha’s grandfather Bandla Ragaiah, an agricultural scientist from Janapdu village in Guntur district, as stating, “I am confident she will succeed in this goal and make the entire country proud.”

According to The New Indian Express, Sirisha’s grandfather, Dr Bandla Muralidhar, a physicist and a member of Senior Executive Services in the US government, claimed she has always been energetic and courageous.

Also Read: Remembering the first Indian woman to fly to space

Sirisha Bandla’s Journey

Bandla, who earned an MBA from Georgetown University, joined Virgin Galactic as a government affairs manager in 2015 and has served as the company’s vice president of government affairs since January of this year. She also worked with Virgin Orbit’s Washington operations as part of the management team.

As an aerospace engineer, Bandla has worked for the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) and L-3 Communications in Greenville, Texas, on space policy issues. She is now a member of the American Astronautical Society’s board of directors as well as the Future Space Leaders Foundation’s board of directors.

Sirisha Bandla also competed in debate competitions while her high school years. And mathematics has always piqued her curiosity since he was a child.

Sirisha Bandla was born in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh in the year 1987. Sirisha Bandla, on the other hand, was only five years old when her parents took her to America.

Sirisha has always been fascinated by space and aspired to work in it. Her father, Dr Bandla Muralidhar, is a physicist and a member of the Senior Executive Services of the United States Government.

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