Bandla reaches space on board VSS Unity 22
Sirisha Bandla vaulted into space on July 11 on board VSS ...
The spacecraft was carried by a twin-bodied carrier aircraft, VMS Eve, for the first 15.5 km on its way to space before being launched for the final leg.
Bandla is the third Indian American in space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Pandya Williams and the fourth person of Indian descent—the first being Rakesh Sharma, who flew on a Soviet spacecraft.
But unlike them, Bandla did not go into orbit and her flight was a short one to demonstrate the capability of Branson’s space programme, a breakthrough in the commercialization of space travel by private entrepreneurs.
Branson beat his business rival, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is set to take off on July 20 on board his space company Blue Origin’s spacecraft.