Sanjal Gavande: The Woman Who Helped Build Jeff Bezoz’s Rocket
Sanjal Gavande, a resident of Kalyan in Maharashtra is among those involved in the building of the rocket that will launch Jeff Bezos to space on July 20.
After completing Bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master’s in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA, but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin.
Speaking to India Today, Gavande’s parents said their daughter has finally achieved what she aimed for. “She always wanted to build a spaceship and that is the reason she chose aerospace as a subject while pursuing her Master’s degree at Michigan Technological University. She worked with Mercury Marine after finishing her Masters at Wisconsin. Then she went to work with Toyota racing development at Orange City in California,” her father Ashok Gavande said.
“She even got a commercial pilots license in the US. She wanted to join Blue Origin. She would look on the website and then apply whenever she saw some openings. After her application was approved, she also cleared the interview and joined Blue Origin. We just supported her and she achieved everything on her own,” he added.
Her mother Surekha said, “She was a silent girl since childhood and good in studies. She was also good in drawing and won many accolades, which helped her in mechanical design when she chose mechanical engineering. People told us that she is a girl and why has she opted for mechanical engineering? I also thought sometimes about whether she would be able to handle such hard work. She has now made us all proud. She had a dream of design aerospace rockets and she has achieved it,” she added.
Earlier this month, Sirisha Bandla made headlines as the second Indian-origin woman to head to space as part of Virgin Space Ship Unity on July 11. She will be one of the six space travellers aboard ‘VSS Unity’ of Virgin Galactic, scheduled to take off from New Mexico alongside the company’s founder Richard Branson. The 34-year-old aeronautical engineer was born in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district and brought up in Houston, Texas.
Bandla took to her social media account to share her excitement. She wrote, “I am so incredibly honored to be a part of the amazing crew of Unity 22, and to be a part of a company whose mission is to make space available to all.”