While Jeff Bezos is all set to ride his own rocket into space tomorrow (July 20), a 30-year-old woman, Sanjal Gavande, from Maharashtra is part of the team of engineers that has built the suborbital space rocket New Shephard which will carry the Blue Origin founder.
Who is Sanjal Gavande?
Sanjal Gavande, a systems engineer at the spaceflight services company was born in Kalyan and dreamed of building a spaceship even as a child.
Gavande is the daughter of Ashok Gavande, a retired employee of the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation, and Surekha, a retired MTNL employee who told TOI that her daughter had been interested in space since she was a child.
After completing her bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Mumbai, Sanjal Gavande left for the US to pursue a master's in mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University.
How Gavande joined Blue Origin?
Miss Gavande applied for a job at NASA after getting a pilot's license in 2016 but was not selected due to citizenship issues, according to her mother. However, she later applied for a job at Blue Origin and was chosen as a systems engineer.
What Sanjal Gavande's parents have to say?
In an interview with India Today, her father Ashok Gavande told, "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."
"People told us that she is a girl, so 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," Sanjal's mother said.