Sunita Williams Set To Fly Into Space AgainSci-Tech

May 06, 2024 15:33
Sunita Williams Set To Fly Into Space Again

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Captain Sunita Williams, an astronaut of Indian origin who enjoys snacking on samosas in space, is preparing for another journey into the great beyond aboard the newly developed Boeing Starliner. The launch is set to take place on May 7, 2024, at 8:04 a.m. India time from the Kennedy Space Center. Although she is a little anxious, she is not nervous about flying in an untested vehicle. While training on the launch site, Captain Williams commented that "arriving at the International Space Station will feel like coming home." At 59 years old, she is the offspring of Dr. Deepak Pandya and Bonnie Pandya, and will make history as the first woman to fly on a first-time manned spacecraft mission. Captain Williams is a former navy test pilot who has flown to space twice before, in 2006 and 2012, and has spent a total of 322 days in space, according to NASA. At one point, she held the record for the longest spacewalk by a female astronaut, having spent 50 hours and 40 minutes on seven spacewalks.

Peggy Whitson currently holds the record for the most cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut. Sunita Williams' father was a neuroanatomist from Gujarat who moved to the USA and married a Slovenian woman named Bonnie Pandya. NASA has announced that Williams is preparing to be the pilot for the Crew Flight Test mission aboard Boeing's Starliner spacecraft, which will be her third mission aboard the International Space Station. Williams was selected as an astronaut in 1998 and was chosen to be part of the select group of astronauts who would fly on NASA's commercial crew program after the Space Shuttle was retired in 2015. Williams plans to bring a statue of Lord Ganesh with her on the commercial crew flight as he is her good luck charm. She has also brought copies of the Bhagavad Gita on her earlier flights and has expressed her love for samosas. Williams identifies as more spiritual than religious. The ISS housed a marathon runner who completed a marathon during their stay.

Dr. M Mohan, head of ISRO's Human Space Flight Center in Bengaluru, expressed his pride in Captain Sunita Williams, a seasoned space explorer, who is about to embark on a new mission aboard the Boeing Starliner. The Gaganyaan, India's own human spaceflight program, has selected a team of four male Gaganyatris to fly into space in 2026 from Sriharikota if all goes according to plan. Meanwhile, SpaceX and Boeing have been chosen by NASA to develop spacecraft that will transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX has been doing this since 2020, while the Boeing Starliner is set for its first crewed flight on Tuesday morning. Alongside Williams, 61-year-old Astronaut Barry Eugene "Butch" Wilmore, a navy test pilot who has been to space twice, will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket to the International Space Station. Despite Boeing's recent aircraft troubles and controversies, everyone wishes the astronauts a successful journey.

NASA has stated that the crew capsule will make a landing in the southwestern United States after spending about a week in space. It is interesting to note that Sunita Williams chose to name her spacecraft "Calypso" after the famous ship used by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, a French oceanographer and filmmaker. Williams also has an elementary school named after her in Needham, USA, and plans to interact with students while on the space station. The CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, designed to accommodate passengers and cargo, has faced many challenges during its development, spanning over a decade. Williams' mission aboard the spacecraft will involve testing and certification, and she looks forward to engaging in fun flying routines throughout her journey.

With her fingerprints all over the project's development, alongside Boeing and NASA engineers, she is ready to take on the challenge. With the divine presence of Lord Ganesh by her side, she is confident in a successful outcome.

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Sunita Williams  NASA