New Delhi: Sanjal Gavande, India-born woman is one of the brains behind Jeff Bezos’ space rocket Blue Origin’s ‘New Shephard’ that will take a suborbital sightseeing trip on July 20. The 30-year-old engineer from Maharashtra, Sanjal Gavande, is one of the engineers who helped build Jeff Bezos’ space rocket.
“I am really happy that my childhood dream is about to come true. I am proud to be a part of Team Blue Origin,” she told Times of India.
Gavande had applied for the position of space engineer at NASA but was rejected citing citizenship issues. However, she later joined Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin as a systems engineer at the beginning of April this year.
She is a mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Mumbai. She shifted to the US in 2011 to pursue her master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University. Before joining Blue Origin, Gavande worked with Mercury Marin for three years after her master’s degree and then joined Toyota Racing Development as a mechanical design engineer.
Jeff Bezos is set to fly off to space in the first crewed launch by Blue Origin. New Shephard’s launch will take place on July 20 at 8:00 am Central Time (1300 GMT). The blast will take place from a remote facility in the west Texas desert called Launch Site One, some 25 miles (40 kilometres) north of the nearest town, Van Horn.
Meanwhile, Sirisha Bandla, a 34-year-old aeronautical engineer, is set to become the third Indian-origin woman to head to space when she flies as part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic’s first fully crewed flight test which took place on Sunday.
Bandla, who was born in the Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh and brought up in Houston, Texas, will join Sir Richard Branson, the company’s billionaire founder, and five others on board Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity to make a journey to the edge of space from New Mexico.