Sirisha Bandla became the third Indian-origin woman to Fly into space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.
Aeronautical engineer Sirisha Bandla on Sunday became the third Indian-American woman to Fly into Space.
She joined British billionaire Richard Branson on Virgin Galactic’s first fully crewed successful suborbital test flight from the US state of New Mexico.
Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, as the spaceplane is called, took off for the 1.5-hour mission above New Mexico from the spaceport America Launch facility at 10:40 a.m. ET following a 90-minute delay due to bad weather.
Ms Bandla joined Branson and five others on board Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship above New Mexico.
34-year-old Bandla tweeted days before the flight, “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.”
The primary objective for Unity 22 was to serve as a test flight for the future commercial passenger flight by Virgin Galactic.
Ms Bandla was born in Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh.
Ms Bandla was astronaut No 004 and her flight role was Researcher Experience. The other crew members were two pilots and three other crewmates, including billionaire Branson, who turns 71 in a week.
Ms Bandla wanted to be a astronaut for the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). However her poor eyesight means she could not meet the requirements to become a pilot or an astronaut.