'Dreamer' Sirisha Bandla all set to go to space onboard VSS Unity today

  • Sirisha Bandla is Purdue alumna whose dreams of journeying into space with Nasa was dashed because of poor eyesight
Sirisha Bandla was born in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh and moved to Houston with her family later. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)(AP)
Sirisha Bandla was born in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh and moved to Houston with her family later. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)(AP)
Published on Jul 11, 2021 11:30 AM IST
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By | Written by Ayshee Bhaduri | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Sirisha Bandla, the 34-year-old aeronautical engineer, is all set to journey to space with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. Bandla aptly summed up this mission as an “incredible opportunity to get people from different backgrounds, different geographies and different communities into space,".

Bandla is Purdue alumna whose dreams of journeying into space with Nasa was dashed because of poor eyesight. She started working for Virgin Galactic in January 2021, as the vice president of Government Affairs and Research Operations.

Bandla was born in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh and moved to Houston with her family later. Her grandparents are extended family members still reside in Guntur. “I'm very happy. From the beginning, she was very fascinated with the sky. Now she's going to space with 5 other members. She is very brave and very strong in her decision,” her grandfather told news agency ANI.

Also Read: Virgin Galactic’s Unity 22 flies to space soon: Here's all about the mission

Branson's Virgin Galactic Holding Inc will be sending the company's passenger rocket plane, the VSS Unity, on its first fully crewed test flight to the edge of space on Sunday. If everything goes according to plan, the flight will last a total of 90 minutes and end where it began and end on a runway at Spaceport America near the town of Truth or Consequences. The launch will be live streamed by Virgin Galactic.

Bandla credited her mother for teaching her perseverance. After the company announced the test flight on July 2, she tweeted “I’ve always been a dreamer. My mum taught me to never give up and to reach for the stars. On July 11, it’s time to turn that dream into a reality aboard the next @VirginGalatic spaceflight,"

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