"She is brave and strong in decision-making". This is how Dr Ragaiah Bandla, grandfather of Indian-American astronaut Sirisha Bandla, described his granddaughter. She will be the third India-born woman to fly into space after Kalpana Chawla, reported Hindustan Times. Rakesh Sharma and Sunita Williams were the other Indians who went into space prior to Bandla.
Born in Andhra Pradesh and brought up in Houston, Sirisha is currently the vice-president of Government Affairs and Research Operations at Virgin Galactic in Washington DC in the US. Sirisha completed her Bachelor of Science in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering in 2011 from Purdue University and went on to do her MBA from George Washington University in 2015.
Recalling an incident, her grandfather told The Indian Express, "At the age of four, she travelled alone to the US where her parents and older sister lived. Though the person who accompanied her was known to us, he was a stranger to her. She was not scared to fly alone. She was excited."
Jeff Bezos To Make Spaceflight
Amazon Inc founder Jeff Bezos is also going to make a spaceflight onboard the New Shepard spaceship, which is scheduled for July 20. Bezos chose July 20 as his launch date, which also happens to be the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. He assigned himself to the flight just a month ago, the final stretch in a yearslong race to space between the two rich rocketeers.