The world's billionaires seem to be in a race to fly to space. While Jeff Bezos would be flying to space on 20th July, Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin Galactic travelled into space aboard his company's VSS Unity rocketplane on 11th July.
Virgin Galactic and Bezos' Blue Origin are the main competitors in offering short rides to space and boosting space tourism.
Indian-origin Sirisha Bandla was one among the five people alongside Richard Branson to travel to space on board VSS Unity. She was in charge of the researcher experience on the highly-aniticpated mission.
With this flight, the aeronautical engineer became the second India-born woman to go into space after Kalpana Chawla.
Sirisha was born in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh and she grew up in Houston, Texas.
Her parents are US residents. She started working at Virgin Galactic in 2015 and is currently the Vice President of Government Affairs at the company.
A graduate in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University, Sirisha did her MBA from Georgetown University.
Before the flight commenced on Sunday, her grandfather talked to Indian Express and told them that Sirish always had this ambition to explore the sky, the moon, and the stars.
Her achievement is making Indians across the world proud.
Glad to know that Sirisha Bandla became the second India-born woman to fly into space. Her achievement will motivate many more young girls in India & abroad to take up challenging careers. Heartiest congratulations to Sirisha Bandla, her parents and mentors! pic.twitter.com/ncGPiH07i9— Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) July 11, 2021
The presence of @SirishaBandla on the historic trip with @richardbranson has stirred a lot of excitement in India, especially in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh where she was born. #VirginGalactic #Unity22 https://t.co/bVh4UEiPVQ— GeetaPandeyBBC (@geetapandeyBBC) July 12, 2021
Indian women are not just breaking glass ceilings—they’re literally dismantling ALL ceilings on this planet and rocketing into space. Keep flying high @SirishaBandla . You went from Guntur to Zero-Gravity. https://t.co/7ZYJSkRerp— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) July 12, 2021
A historic moment for all of us.