Sirisha Bandla (File Photo) Photograph:( Twitter )
Following her interest in space, Bandla joined Virgin Galactic in 2015 after completing her studies. She has now travelled to space along with Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group
Sirisha Bandla has become the second India-born, third Indian-American and third Indian-origin woman to go in space. Ahead of her journey as part of the billionaire Richard Branson's team, her grandfather said that he is "overwhelmed with joy".
On July 11, Sirisha Bandla, 33, a native of Guntur district of India's southern Andhra Pradesh state, became a part of a test flight on Virgin Galactic's spacecraft that was the first fully crewed spacecraft to travel beyond the atmosphere of our planet.
As the race to usher in a new era of commercial space travel begins to heat up, a successful flight by British billionaire Richard Branson aboard Virgin's VSS Unity spaceplane became a pivotal moment in the field of space travel.
Welcome Sirisha Bandla, Colin Bennett, and Beth Moses — our expert crew members joining @richardbranson on our #Unity22 test flight. Watch LIVE this Sunday at https://t.co/5UalYT7Hjb. @SirishaBandla @VGChiefTrainer pic.twitter.com/F4ZrGnH3vo— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) July 5, 2021
Brandon's mission represents the company's 22nd flying test of VSS Unity, and its fourth manned mission.
Following her interest in space, Bandla joined Virgin Galactic in 2015 after completing her studies.
A part of Unity22's amazing crew and as a part of a company dedicated to making space accessible to all, Bandla said in a tweet that she is "honored to be a part of the amazing crew."
She had always been fascinated by space, according to her grandfather, Dr Ragaiah, a retired scientist.
He said she was very much intrigued by the sky and the unknown. "Looking at the sky and space", she was always fascinated about discovering what exists there.
Before the flight, he said, "I am very happy and overwhelmed with joy. My second granddaughter, she is going to space."
In 2003, Kalpana Chawla, the only female astronaut born in India, died in an accident on board the Columbia Space Shuttle.