Up Above The World So High, Like A Diamond In The Sky; Meet Sirisha Bandla The Third Indian Woman To Space
–When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it–
Well, you may be familiar with this quote from one of the best sellers ‘Alchemist’ by the illustrious author, Paulo Coelho. What do you think of his words? If you think that it has nothing to do with one’s life, let’s meet Sirisha Bandla. Her story is enough to tell you that the whole universe and even the space will stand by you to conquer your dreams.
Knowing Sirisha, the girl with million stars in her eyes
Sirisha Bandla will now be at ‘cloud nine’or maybe at a higher cloud than that. It’s her dream come moment on Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft. And here comes the response of her family members as they smile with joy and pride.
“From a very young age she had this ambition to explore the sky, the moon, and the stars. Sirisha had set her eyes on space, and I am not at all surprised that she is all set to realise her dream. I am very happy and overwhelmed with joy. My second granddaughter, she is going to space” Sirisha’s grandfather Dr Bandla Nagaiah told with excitement.
It all began when the business magnate Richard Branson decided to fly into space with five others. Thus the craft which went beyond atmosphere of Earth launched on Sunday. The craft had 33-year-old Sirisha in it among other crew members. This makes her the second Indian-American woman and the third Indian woman to fly into space.
Sirisha, a native of Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur is the vice president of government affairs and research operations at Branson’s Virgin Galactic. The Virgin’s VSS Unity spaceplane and the mission are considered to be pivotal as it has a great potential to heat up commercial space travel. Besides, it represents the company’s 22nd flying test of VSS Unity and its fourth manned mission.
As said by her grandfather, Bandla was too excited about stars, sun, moon and the sky from her early childhood. She was always fascinated about discovering what exists in the sky and space. She earned a Bachelor’s in Science degree from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University in 2011. She finished her Master of Business Administration degree from George Washington University in 2015.
Her poor eyesight hindered her dream to join the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a pilot. But her professor at Purdue University told her about an opportunity in the field of commercial space flights. Thus with no confusion and with clear vision, in 2015 Bandla joined Virgin Galactic.Virgin Galactic’ sole aim is to fly private citizens to the edge of space so that they can experience three to four minutes of weightlessness and observe the curvature of Earth.
Galactic’s VSS Unity with Branson, Bandla and three others took off for the 1.5-hour mission from the Spaceport America launch facility at 10:40 am Eastern Time. The mission which delayed due to bad weather managed to have a successful launching. The crew shared their wonderful experience of seeing Earth’s curvature from space. They also said about going through a few minutes of weightlessness and called it “an experience of a lifetime”.
What Sirisha tells the world is to dream high and to never settle for anything less. Let the universe conspire in helping you to achieve your dreams.