August 2021 \ Diaspora News \ DIASPORA—US?INDIAN IN SPACE
Richard Branson carries SirishaBandla on shoulders

Andhra Pradesh-born SirishaBandla in August touched the edge ...

“I am kind of still up there but I’m so glad to be here. I was trying to think about a better word than incredible but that is the only word that can come to my mind... Seeing the view of Earth is so life-changing but also boosts the rocket motor kicking in. The whole trip to space and back is just amazing,” Bandla was quoted as saying to NBC News. Astronaut 004 Bandla, accompanied by

Branson and two other crewmates and two pilots, touched the edge of space in the 90 minute trip. During the space flight, Bandla was scheduled to conduct experiments designed by the US government’s pioneer space agency, NASA involving plants in microgravity. Bandla, the Virgin Galactic Vice President for Government Relations, is an astronautical engineer by training. “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,” Bandla said in a tweet last week. Bandla became the fourth astronaut of Indian descent.