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Indian-origin aeronautical engineer to travel into space

Houston: An Indian-origin aeronautical engineer Sirisha Bandla, a 34-year-old engineer, is set to become the third Indian-origin lady to travel to space when she flies as a member of Virgin Galactic’s initial completely crewed flight test on Sunday.

She was born in the Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh and brought up in Houston, Texas. She will accompany Sir Richard Branson, the company’s billionaire founder, and five others on board Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity to create a journey to the end of space from New Mexico.

“I am so incredibly honoured 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,” she tweeted.

Bandla will be astronaut no 004, and her flight role will be Researcher Experience, according to her profile on Virgin Galactic.

She will display the third Indian-origin woman to fly into space, following Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.

Bandla commenced as the Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations at Virgin Galactic in January 2021, the university stated in a report.

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