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Grandpa in India tracking Sirisha Bandla’s new-era flight into space

Grandpa in India tracking Sirisha Bandla’s new-era flight into space

Sirisha Bandla, the India-born aeronautical engineer who will fly into space on July 11 marking a new era, was described by her grandfather, Dr Rajaiah, who lives in Andhra Pradesh, as strong and brave in decision-making.

"I, along with my friends and relatives, wish her a successful and happy return to the land after completion of her journey," ANI news agency cited Dr Ragaiah as saying on Sunday in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur district.

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"I'm very happy. From the beginning, she was very fascinated with the sky. Now she's going to space with five other members. She is brave and strong in decision-making," said Dr Ragaiah.

Sirisha Bandla will be one of the six space travellers aboard VSS Unity of Virgin Galactic which is scheduled to take off for its journey into space on July 1.

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Sirisha, who was brought up in Houston will become the second India-born woman to fly into space after Kalpana Chawla.

Sirisha appeared to be in high spirits as she tweeted: “I am so incredibly honoured 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.

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Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu also took to Twitter to share pictures of Sirisha Bandla and the space-bound team.

"Indian-origin women continue to break the proverbial glass ceiling and prove their mettle. On July 11th, Sirisha Bandla with Telugu roots is set to fly to space aboard VSS Unity with Richard Branson and the team marking the dawn of the new space age, making all Indians proud! " he tweeted.

UK billionaire and founder of the Virgin Galactic company Richard Branson announced on June 2 that he will make a spaceflight on July 11.

"I've always been a dreamer. My mum taught me to never give up and to reach for the stars. On July 11, it's time to turn that dream into a reality aboard the next @VirginGalactic paceflight," he tweeted late Thursday.

The company confirmed the information and published a video, presenting six crew members of the next spaceflight.