Michigan Tech Alumni Part Of Jeff Bezos Space Flight
A graduate of the highly regarded Michigan Technological University in Houghton will be on the ground control team when Bezos' Blue Origin rocket takes flight on Tuesday.
Sanjal Gavande is a thirty year old systems engineer who graduated from Michigan Tech in 2013 with a Masters Degree in Systems Engineering.
Gavande had previously worked as an engineer at Mercury Motors in Wisconsin and for the Toyota Motors Racing Team, but according to her nother, it was her dream to work in a space-related industry.
Her mother, Surekha, told the Times of India, "“From childhood, my daughter has been into space and we are that from making car engines, she has graduated to rockets."
Sanjal had applied to be an engineer at NASA, the government space program, but was not selected due to some citizenship issues. Sanjal was born in Kalyan, India. She earned her undergraduate degree at Mumbai University there.
She applied to Blue Origin, Bezos Space Tourism company located in Seattle, and landed a job as a systems engineer.
Jeff Bezos will lead the first manned mission into space aboard the New Shepard rocket for Blue Origin on Tuesday.
The mission will carry four people into a suborbital flight which will last about 11 minutes and bring the group back down the same day. The flight will launch from Blue Origins flight pad located in the desert just west of the Guadalupe Mountains in Texas.
Flying into space with Bezos will be his brother Mark, 82 year old Wally Funk, and 18 year old Oliver Daeman. Funk is a female aeronautics pioneer who is realizing a lifelong dream of goin into space, while Daeman is the son of a Dutch investor.
Gavande, by the way, doesn't just help others fly, she flies herself, earning her pilot's license five years ago while working for Toyota.
She told the Times of India, "I am really happy that my childhood dream is about to come true. I am proud to be a part of Team Blue Origin."
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