Sanjal Gavande is among the team of engineers who built Blue Origin's suborbital space rocket 'New Shephard.'
The 30-year-old is from Maharashtra's Kalyan. 'New Shephard' will take billionaire Jeff Bezos and three others to space later this month.
Gavande is a mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Mumbai and did her master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University in 2011.
She is the daughter of a municipal corporation employee and a retired MTNL official.
Her father Ashok Gavande told the media that she chose aerospace as a subject in her master's degree because she always wanted to build a spaceship.
After her post graduation, she worked with Mercury Marine, the marine engine division of Brunswick Corporation. There she worked for three years first as a design analysis intern and then as a design analysis engineer.
She also holds a commercial pilot’s license, and applied for a space engineering job at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Her mother Surekha told the media that people were against her ambition to be a mechanical engineer because she was a girl.
"She has now made us all proud. She had a dream of designing aerospace rockets and she has achieved it,” she said.