Richard Branson First Billionaire In Space; Indian-Origin Sirisha Bandla Part Of Crew


Richard Branson, the British billionaire and founder of Virgin Galactic, has just added a new chapter in space travel. In what he expresses as the 'experience of a lifetime', Branson has just unfolded a new era of space tourism. His team, also including Indian-origin Sirisha Bandla, took off aboard the VSS Unity spaceship and landed on Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Billionaire Richard Branson Space Flight Successful

Richard Branson Space Flight

Branson's space flight reached a peak altitude of around 53 miles (85 kilometers), which is above the boundary of space. When at this altitude, passengers aboard the spaceship can experience weightlessness in space. Plus, the spectacular Earth's curvature can be witnessed at this altitude. The entire journey took about an hour after take-off.

Looking back, Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004 and has since then dreaming of traveling to space. However, the 2014 in-flight death of a pilot almost ended the program and delayed it significantly. Finally, in 2021, Branson (net worth USD 590 crores) succeeded in the space flight mission. Moreover, he has also beaten Jeff Bezos in the space race.

Indian-Origin Sirisha Bandla Heads To Space

Branson's space travel team included aeronautical engineer Sirisha Bandla, who is now the third Indian-origin woman to fly to space. "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 has tweeted earlier.

Sirisha Bandla's space mission aboard the Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity included other crew members with two pilots, three crewmates, and of course, billionaire Richard Branson. Looking back, Bandla, born in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, was bought up in Houston when she turned 4 years old. She later graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University.


New Era Of Space Tourism

Branson's space travel has made space flight and space tourism a reality. While the risks and precautions are many, Branson's space flight aboard the VSS Unity has opened doors to space travel. With options from Bezos' Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX, interested space travelers now have the option to visit space and return safely.

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