British businessman Richard Branson made history on Sunday. At the age of 70, Richard returned after traveling to space in a private plane. Shirisha Bandla, of Indian origin, also accompanied him on this trip. With this, Shirisha became the second woman born in India and the third Indian woman to go to space. Before her, this feat was achieved by Kalpana Chawla when in 2003 she carried out the Columbia mission for the US space agency NASA. At the same time, Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma first visited space as an Indian citizen.
Richard tweeted a photo taken from the plane during this trip. He wrote: “Welcome to the new dawn of the space age.” Many billionaires around the world wanted to travel to space first, but Branson won it. Along with this, a new era of private space travel seems to be starting with space exploration. Especially when Jeff Bezos also goes to space travel a few days later.
“In an unprecedented way, honored to be a member of the wonderful crew of Unity 22 and to be part of a company whose mission is to make space accessible to all,” tweeted Bandla, an aeronautical engineer, before take off. Let us tell you that Bandla was born in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh while growing up in Houston. As an astronaut, his badge number is 004 and his role in flight is to conduct research.
third woman of Indian origin
Bandla became the third woman of Indian descent to go to space. Before him, Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams traveled to space. Williams was born in America. However, Rakesh Sharma is the only squadron commander to have traveled to space as an Indian citizen. Sharma, a former IAF pilot, went into space on April 3, 1984 aboard the Soyuz T-11 as part of the Soviet Intercosmos program.