Sirisha Bandla, vice-president of government affairs and research operations at Virgin Galactic, became only the fourth person of Indian origin ever to go past the line of space, also known as the Kármán line. She previously worked for the Commercial Spaceflight Federation as an aerospace engineer. At CSF, Bandla worked on various policies with the aim to promote the commercial space industry and make commercial spaceflight a reality.
Sirisha’s journey to becoming an aeronautical engineer, began when as a child, reading all about space and indulging in science fiction and space fiction series and books. “I imagined myself being the captain of a spacecraft,” she says her end goal was space… I had followed the journey of Kalpana Chawla. And, while I had never met her, I knew she was an incredible engineer, and her journey is something I related with. That is how I got into aeronautical engineering,” says Sirisha.