Education and Learning

Sirisha Bandla Becomes 2nd Indian Born Woman to fly into Space

Ambili S Kartha

Created by Ambili S Kartha
Updated on Jul 09, 2021

Sirisha Bandla Becomes 2nd Indian Born Woman to fly into Space

Sirisha Bandla's name has taken the spotlight in recent days after the announcement that she is going to be the second woman of Indian origin to venture into space as part of a six member crew on board the Virgin Space Ship Unity, which includes the founder of Virgin Galactic himself, Sir Richard Branson.

Early Life and Background

Born on the 22nd of January, 1988 in the Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh, at a very young age her family shifted Houston, Texas, USA. Upon completing a basic education at a local school in Texas, Sirisha went on to acquire her Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical, Aerospace and Astronautical Engineering from Perdue University in 2011.SirishaBandla has chosen to keep the identities of her parents private.

She would then go on to get her Master's in Business Administration from the George Washington University in 2015, and would work as a manager a few times before beginning work with Virgin in 2017. She is currently the Vice President of Government Affairs at Virgin Galactic, and according to her LinkedIn profile, residing in Washington, DC, USA.

Space Program

SirishaBandla is set to be the fourth Indian astronaut to venture into space, following Rakesh Sharma, Sunita Williams and KalpanaChawla. She is also the second woman of Indian origin to do so after KalpanaChawla, an accomplishment that is sure to inspire countless people, particularly women and girls of Asian origin.

The Space Ship VSS Unity is set to depart from New Mexico on July 11, with a six member crew, including Sirisha Bandla and Sir Richard Branson. In regards to this, she has been at the receiving end of some much deserved praise, especially from notable figures like the former Andhra Pradesh CM, N. Chandrababu Naidu, who took to Twitter, stating that “Indian-origin women continue to break the proverbial glass ceiling and proving their metal".

“I am so incredibly honored 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 says on Twitter. In an interview with the news agency ANI, Dr Ragaiah, Sirisha Bandla's paternal grandfather, stated: “I am overwhelmed with joy and happiness that my second granddaughter is going to space. She has been very brave right from the beginning and is a very strong decision-maker. She completed her schooling in the US. She has always had a fascination for the sky”. 


Tell your girl that every obstacle and struggle she overcomes brings her one step closer to her ambition. 

As Kalpana Chawla once said, “The path from dream to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it and courage to get on to it and perseverance to follow it”.

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