Aeronautical engineer Shirisha Bandla becomes third Indian-origin woman to fly into space – News Vibe24

    Aeronautical engineer Shirisha Bandla becomes third Indian-origin woman to fly into space - Times of India
    Aerospace engineer Sirisha Bandla became the third woman of Indian descent to fly into space when she joined British billionaire Richard Branson on the first fully paid Virgin Galactic Suborbital test flight from New Mexico.
    Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, as the spacecraft is called, took off for a 1.5-hour flight over New Mexico after a 90-minute delay due to bad weather.
    Badla embarked on Branson and five others on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity to take a space trip from New Mexico.
    “I am so incredibly honored to be part of the amazing #Unity22 crew, and to be part of a company whose mission is to make room for everyone,” the 34-year-old Bandla tweeted days before the flight.
    “When I first heard that I was taking this opportunity, it was just … I was speechless. I think he understood that very well. This is an incredible opportunity to attract people from different backgrounds, different geographies and different communities. Space,” he said. in a video posted on Virgin Galactic Twitter on July 6.
    The primary goal for Unity 22 was to serve as a test flight for future commercial passenger flights from Virgin Galactic.
    Born in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, and raised in Houston, Bandla was an astronaut No. 004 and the role of the flight was Research Experience. The other crew members were two pilots and three other associates, including billionaire Branson, who turned 71 in one week.
    She became the third woman of Indian descent to fly into space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams. Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma is the only Indian citizen to travel in space. The former pilot of the Indian Air Force flew the Soyuz T-11 on April 3, 1984, as part of the Soviet Intercosm program.
    Badla moved to the United States when she was 4 years old and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University in 2011. She completed a Master of Business Administration degree from George Washington University in 2015.
    Badla wanted to become an astronaut for the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). However, her poor eyesight meant that she could not qualify to become a pilot or astronaut.
    When she was at Purdue University, a professor told her about a commercial space flight opportunity.
    Virgin Galactic – launched by Branson in 2004 – aims to fly individuals to the edge of space. The voyages are designed to allow passengers to experience three to four minutes without weight and observe the curvature of the Earth.

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