New Shepard rocket: Indian engineer Sanjal Gavande part of Bezos’ Blue Origin space mission

Sanjal Gavande, an engineer from Maharashtra, is a part of the team that built Blue Origin’s rocket that will take billionaire Jeff Bezos and three others to space on July 20th

The 30-year-old systems engineer from Kalyan had worked with Mercury Marine and Toyota Racing Development before joining Blue Origin, The Times of India has reported. She is also a licensed commercial pilot.

“I am really happy that my childhood dream is about to come true. I am proud to be a part of Team Blue Origin,” Gavande told the publication.

Gavande is an alumna of the University of Mumbai, after which she went to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master’s in mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University.

Gavande’s father Ashok is a retired Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation officer, and her mother Surekha is a retired MTNL employee.

“From childhood, my daughter has been into space and we are proud that from making car engines she has graduated to rockets,” Surekha Gavande told The Times of India.

The sub-orbital trip on the New Shepard rocket will take place on July 20.  Accompanying Bezos on the trip is his brother Mark, 82-year-old Wally Funk, a former test pilot, and Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen.

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