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Immigrants Creating History: Sirisha Bandla, Indian-born Girl Flies to Space

Immigrants Creating History: Sirisha Bandla, Indian-born Girl Flies to Space

How a 34-year-old immigrant girl become an inspiration to women globally 

Magazine, The Immigrant Experience

Sirisha Bandla’s space journey with Richard Branson proves that without immigrants, the Western world would’ve never been in the shape it is today. 

Immigrants have created history on many occasions, and they’re continuously proving themselves in every walk of life. If the migrants from various corners of the world hadn’t traveled to the western countries, the Western world would have never been as colorful and prosperous as it is today.

The story of a 34-year-old Indian-American astronaut – who flew to space along with the billionaire Richard Branson as a member of his crew on the SpaceShipTwo Unity – strongly supports this prospect.

The success of this young Indian lady was celebrated across the world. Social media was abuzz with Indians of all ages and genders celebrating their countrywoman, Sirisha Bandla. Both the common Indians and government officials, including the vice president of India, called Sirisha Bandla “an inspiration to all.”

One of her fellow dudesses tweeted: “I will never forget the joy, the absolute “kid in a candy shop” joy, that I saw on her face that day.  I’m still unsure of what the full impact of their flight will be, but I know it will be incomparable and unforgettable and forever a piece of magical history.”

Bandla, along with billionaire Richard Branson and other crew members, flew to space on 11th July on SpaceShipTwo Unity test flight. Where this space adventure made Branson the first person to fly into space in his very own spaceship, Bandla became the second Indian-born astronaut who roared into the sky.

Bandla, a girl hailing from a different world, proved to the world that anything can be achieved with strong commitment and motivation. Her achievement motivates women across the globe and provides them with the reason to believe in themselves. Her story will encourage them to follow their dreams and believe in their zeal and zing that, just like her, they can achieve big things too.

Moreover, this Indian-American’s successful space journey will also hit the taboos developed around immigration hard and make Americans think about the impact and values immigrants continue to bring to their country. Bandla is just one example, there are many migrants in the United States, who are making splendid contributions to the American economy.

Who is Sirisha Bandla? 

Bandla was born in the Guntur district of an Indian state, Andhra Pradesh. She grew up in Houston, Texas, and graduated in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University. She also holds an MBA degree from George Washington University. She joined the Virgin Galactic (SPCE) in 2015, where she now holds the position of vice president, government affairs, and research operations.

She shared her love for India in a tweet posted soon after her flight: “Immensely proud to carry a bit of India to space with me. Always grateful for the well wishes from the land of my childhood and family.”

It may come as a surprise to you to find out that Richard Branson is half Indian. “Since 1793 we [have] had four generations living in Cuddalore. Every time I meet an Indian, I’m proud to say we may be related. A few years ago, I traced my roots and was thrilled to discover that I’m actually part Indian. I loved finding out how some of my ancestors on my father’s side moved to India in search of fortune and started their own successful businesses,” said the British billionaire in a tweet.

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