US based private Spaceflight company ‘Virgin Galactic’ announced the 6-member crew of its human commercial space mission “Unity 22”. The crew includes Richard Branson – the founder of Virgin Galactic as one of its passengers. Indian origin Sirisha Bandla will be the 4th crew member of the space mission.
Unit 22 Mission:
Objective – To act as a pre-run for all of its future commercial space trips, that will allow passengers to witness the curvature of Earth from space.6-member Crew:
- 2-Pilots – Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci
- 4-Passengers – Richard Branson, Sirisha Bandla, Colin Bennett (Operation Engineer) & Beth Moses (Chief Instructor)
i.The company uses VSS Unity, a SpaceShipTwo-class suborbital rocket-powered spaceplan for the mission, which will be launched from New Mexico, USA.
ii.It will be the 22nd mission for VSS Unity, and Virgin Galactic’s 4th crewed spaceflight.
Sirisha Bandla – 3rd Indian Origin women to be on Space
Sirisha Bandla took part in the Virgin Galactic’s 1.5-hour trail space mission in July, to become the 3rd Indian Origin woman to be in space (after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams).
Note – Rakesh Sharma is the only Indian citizen to travel in space.
i.Sirisha Bandla, Vice President of Government affairs & Research operations at Virgin Galactic, is in-charge of evaluating human-tended research experience in the Unity 22 mission.
ii.She was born in Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh and brought up in Houston, USA.
Note – Russia, trained 4 Indian Astronauts for India’s 1st Human Space Mission – ‘Gaganyaan’
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About Virgin Galactic:
Established – 2004
Founders – Richard Branson & Burt Rutan
Headquarters – Mojave, California, USA