Sanjal Gavande, a 30-year-old woman hailing from Maharashtra made India proud by being part of the Blue Origin team which created the New Shephard - suborbit space rocket to takeoff Jeff Bezos and others into space on July 20th.
Gavande completed her graduation in mechanical engineering from Mumbai University and did her masters in 2011 from the Michigan Technology University. Later she worked as a design analysis engineer for three years at the marine engine division of Mercury Marine and then she joined Toyota Racing development as a mechanical design engineer. She is also a licensed commercial pilot and has received Pilot of the Year award in 2022 from Orange County, California chapter of Ninety-nine - a local chapter of the International Organisation of Women Pilots.
While speaking to India Today, Ashok Gavande, father of Sanjal Gavande said that her daughter always dreamt of building a spaceship and to fulfil it she chose to study aerospace during her post-graduation at Michigan Technological University.
Struggles In Her Journey
Gavande's main goal was NASA but due to citizenship and visa-related issues, she was rejected. During an interview, Surekha, mother of Gavande said that people used to ask her about Sanjal's choice of pursuing mechanical engineering and she herself doubted if her daughter would be able to handle such hard work. However, it makes her extremely proud to see her daughter's dream come true.
Gavande had her eyes set on Blue Origin and would keep checking on their website, looking for openings. Her moment of happiness came when her application got approved and she cleared the interview round too. She joined Blue Origin in April 2021.