Sirisha Bandla to adorn the list of women astronauts after Kalpana Chawla & Sunitha Williams



Sirisha Bandla to adorn the list of women astronauts after Kalpana Chawla & Sunitha Williams

Aeronautical engineer Sirisha Bandla made it into space along with Richard Branson on Virgin Galactic's first fully-crewed successful suborbital test flight from the US state of New Mexico.

FREMONT, CA: Aeronautical engineer Sirisha Bandla is now recognized as the third Indian-American woman to make it to space along with the British billionaire Richard Branson and four others on Virgin Galactic's first fully-crewed successful suborbital test flight from the US state of New Mexico. The crew made it to an altitude of about 88 kilometres over the New Mexico desert and witnessed the curvature of the earth. As a result, they also experienced weightlessness.

Right before the flight, the 34-year-old Bandla expressed her joy and how she was incredibly honoured to be a part of the journey and crew. The company aims to make space available to all people from various backgrounds, geographies and communities. Sirisha Bandla makes it to the list of women astronauts after Kalpana Chawla and Sunitha Williams. Rakesh Sharma is the only Indian citizen to be a part of the Soviet Interkosmos programme and travel to space.

Bandla is a graduate of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University in 2011. She also possesses a Masters degree in Business Administration from George Washington University in 2015. Her passion for science has always made her want to be an astronaut. However, due to a lack of good eyesight, she could not fulfil her dream of becoming an astronaut for the  US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Nevertheless, fortune favoured her when she joined Purdue University and got to know of the opportunity of commercial space flights.

The business Branson- Virgin Galactic commenced short space trips in 2004 to give private citizens the experience of space. The trip is designed in such a way as to observe the curvature of the Earth and experience a few moments of weightlessness.