Announced on Friday, the mission will take off nine days ahead of the departure of billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ trip to space, which was announced last month.
“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, who was born in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh and grew up in Houston, Texas, said on micro blogging platform Twitter on Friday.
I am so incredibly honored to be a part of the amazing crew of #Unity22, and to be a part of a company whose missio… https://t.co/Jp7LOI1fvu
— Sirisha Bandla (@SirishaBandla) 1625230883000
Bandla started working at Virgin Galactic in 2015 and is currently vice president of government affairs at the company. She is a graduate in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University and also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Georgetown University.
Prior to working at Virgin Galactic, she worked as an aerospace engineer in Texas, following which she had a job in space policy at the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF).
Branson and Bandla will be joined by Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses and lead operations engineer Colin Bennett on the flight. Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci will pilot the Unity spacecraft.