Family of Sirisha Bandla, astronaut on Virgin Galactic crew, ‘happy and overwhelmed’

She is second woman born in India to enter space after Kalpana Chawla, who died in the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster in 2003

Family of Sirisha Bandla, astronaut on Virgin Galactic crew, ‘happy and overwhelmed’

Sirisha Bandla. Photo: @SirishaBandla/Twitter

Guntur, July 5

The grandfather of an Indian-American astronaut said he was "overwhelmed with joy" as she prepares to become only the second Indian-born woman to visit space.

Sirisha Bandla, 33, who was born in Guntur district of India's southern Andhra Pradesh state, will be a part of billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic's test flight on July 11 that will travel beyond the edge of the earth's atmosphere.

A successful flight by Branson aboard Virgin's VSS Unity spaceplane would mark a milestone in the race to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel.

Branson's mission will be the 22nd flight test for VSS Unity, and the company's fourth crewed spaceflight.

Bandla, who developed an early interest in space, completed her studies in the field before joining Virgin Galactic in 2015.

"I am so incredibly honored to be a part of the amazing crew of #Unity22, and to be a part of a company whose mission is to make space available to all," Bandla said in a tweet.

Her grandfather, Dr Ragaiah, a retired scientist who goes by one name, told Reuters she had always been fascinated by space.

"From the beginning, she was very much fascinated towards the sky, looking at the sky, space, how to enter space and what is there," he said.

"I am very happy and overwhelmed with joy. My second granddaughter, she is going to space."

Bandla is the second woman born in India to enter space after Kalpana Chawla, who died in the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster in 2003. Reuters

Tribune Shorts

Top Stories

Navjot Singh Sidhu resigns as Punjab Congress chief

Navjot Singh Sidhu resigns as Punjab Congress chief

Puts up his resignation letter on Twitter; I told you so, sa...

Razia Sultana resigns from Punjab Cabinet 'in solidarity with Navjot Singh Sidhu'

Razia Sultana resigns from Punjab Cabinet 'in solidarity with Navjot Singh Sidhu'

Comes hours after Sidhu steps down as PPCC chief

Inside track: What led to Navjot Singh Sidhu's resignation

Inside track: What led to Navjot Singh Sidhu's resignation

Reliable party sources attribute Sidhu’s resignation to five...

Sulking Sidhu meets aides; action shifts to Yadavindra Enclave—his Patiala home

Sulking Sidhu meets aides; action shifts to Yadavindra Enclave—his Patiala home

Sidhu's refused to rethink, says he cannot be a 'puppet at t...

This is not cricket, says ex-Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar on Navjot Sindhu Sidhu

This is not cricket, says ex-Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar on Navjot Sindhu Sidhu

Congress leadership’s faith in Sidhu compromised

Cities

View All