Sunita Williams headed back to space in JulyPublished On: Sat, Jun 23rd, 2012 | Astronomy and Space | By BioNews
Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams will be returning to the International Space Station, where she spent a record six months in 2006, in July.
According to a NASA announcement, daughter of an Indian American father from Gujarat and a Slovenian mother, Williams is currently making final preparations for a July 14 launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The 46-year-old will be a flight engineer on the station’s Expedition 32 along with Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the News reported.
On reaching the space station she will take over as the commander of Expedition 33.
Williams and her colleagues will be aboard the station during an exceptionally busy period that includes two spacewalks, the arrival of Japanese, US commercial and Russian re-supply vehicles, and an increasingly faster pace of scientific research, the US space agency said.
Sunita is the second woman of Indian heritage to have been selected by NASA for a space mission after Kalpana Chawla and the second astronaut of Slovenian heritage after Ronald M. Sega.
She holds three records for female space travellers: longest spaceflight (195 days), number of spacewalks (four), and total time spent on spacewalks (29 hours and 17 minutes).