Come July 11, Sirisha Bandla will fly to space aboard 'VSS Unity' of Virgin Galactic.

The 34-year-old will make history as the second Indian-born woman to make it into space, after Kalpana Chawla, who died in the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster in 2003.

In the flight, Sirisha will evaluate the research aboard the mission, which will also be joined by the aerospace company's billionaire founder Richard Branson.

Sirisha was born in Andhra's Guntur district and brought up in Houston. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering in 2011 in Purdue University, and did her MBA at George Washington University.

After completing her studies, Sirisha joined Virgin Galactic as an aeronatical engineer in 2015, and currently serves as the company's vice-president of Government Affairs.

In a tweet, Sirisha said that she was "incredible honored" to be part of the crew, and a a company whose mission to make space available to all.

Reuters quoted Sirisha's 85-year-old grandfather Ragaiah saying that Sirisha had always been fascinated by space.

"From the beginning, she was very much fascinated towards the sky, looking at the sky, space, how to enter space and what is there.

"I am very happy and overwhelmed with joy. My second granddaughter, she is going to space," the portal quoted the retired scientist saying.

Source: Hindustan Times,
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