Sirisha Bandla, an Indian American, will soon become the second India-born girl and first Telugu person to go into space.
She was born in Guntur of Andhra Pradesh and currently works for Virgin Galactic, a leading American private space agency. The company plans to launch its spacecraft next weekend.
Sirisha, an aeronautical engineering graduate from Purdue University, is part of a six-member crew including English business magnate Sir Richard Branson, who will fly to space in this mission.
“Our first fully crewed rocket powered test flight is planned to take place on July 11th with two pilots and four mission specialists including Richard Branson onboard,” Virgin Galactic tweeted.
“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,” Sirisha tweeted.
Though she currently works in the USA, Sirisha was born and lived in India until she reached five. Later she went to the US with her family for better opportunities.
Both her father, Muralidhar Bandla and grandfather Ragaiah are agriculture scientists, reports The Hindu.
The Telugu Association of North America (TANA) honoured her with TANA Youth Star Award at its 2014 convention. After Rakesh Sharma, Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams, Sirisha will be the fourth Indian to fly into space.