Sunita Williams is an American lady of Indian origin. She is the second woman of Indian heritage to have been selected by NASA for a space mission after Kalpna Chawla and the second astronaut of Slovenian heritage after Ronald M. Sega.
She holds three records for female space travelers, longest spaceflight (195 days) number of space walks (four) and total time spent on space walks (29 hours and 17 minutes).
Sunita Williams was born on 19th September 1965 at Euclid-Ohio in America. Her parents Deepak Pandya and Bonnie Pandya reside in Falmouth Massachusetts. Dr. Deepak Pandya is a famous neuroanatomist.
Williams’s roots on her father’s side go back to Gujarat in India and she has been to India to visit her father’s family. She is married with Michael J. Williams. Williams took with her to the International Space Station (ISS) a copy of Bhagavad Gita, a small figurine of Ganesha and some samosas.
She received a tube of wasabi in a progress space of resupply mission in response to her request for more spicy food in March 2007. Opening the tube which was packaged at one environmental pressure the get like paste was formed out in the lower pressure of the ISS.
Sunita Williams passed High School Exam from Needham High School Needham Massachusetts in1983 and B.S. Physical Science from U.S. Naval Academy in 1987. She obtained M. S. Engineering Management from Florida Institute of Technology in 1995.
Sunita is very fond of running, swimming, biking, triathlons, windsurfing, snowboarding and bow hunting. Sunita joined society of Experimental as a Test Pilot and Society of flight Test Engineers and American Helicopter Association. She made a grand performance in all of these.
She achieved Navy Commendation Medals two times, Navy and Marine Corporation Achievement Medal and Humanitarian Service Medal and various other service awards.
Sunita Williams, Expedition Fourteen flight engineer, participated in the mission’s third planned session of extravehicular activity (EVA) as construction resumes on the International Space Station. Astronaut Robert Cur beam STS- 116 Mission specialist also participated in the 7 hour, 31 minutes space week.
Sunita Williams was selected by American Space Agency NASA in June 1998 and her training was started in August 1998. During the training she developed the skills in technical briefings Physiological training and preparing for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and Wilderness survival techniques.
Sunita served in Moscow with Russian space agency on the Russian contribution to the ISS and with the first expedition crew was sent to the ISS after her basic training.
She also worked with in the Robotic branch on the ISS Robotic Arm and the related Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator. She was a crew member on the NEEMO 2 mission, living underwater in the Aquarius habitat for nine days in May 2002.
Sunita was a mission specialist on STS 117. Sunita’s shuttle’s name was “Discovery”. It was launched on December 10, 2006 to join the expedition 4 crew. In April the Russian members of the crew rotated, changing to Expedition 15.
She returned to Earth on June, 22, 2007 at the end of the mission STS 117. On January 31, February 4 and 9, 2007 she completed three space walks from the ISS with Michael Lopez Algeria.
Sunita spent 6 hours and 40 minutes in her third space walk and 29 hours and 17 minutes till her fourth space walk eclipsing the record held by Kathryn C. Thornton for most space walk time by a woman.
STS-117 mission aboard “Atlantis” was sent to the space to bring Sunita back to the Earth on 26th April, 2007. Sunita could not break the U.S. Single spaceflight record that was recently broken by former crew member commander Michael Lopez Algeria.
The space shuttle of Williams Atlantis touched down at the Edwards Air Force Base in California at 03.49 EDT on June 22, 2007. Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams came back to earth after setting a record of 195 day stay in space.
“Welcome back, congratulations on a great mission”. Nasa Mission Control said Sunita and six other members of the crew, soon after the shuttle landed. ABC TV Network selected Sunita “Person of the Week”. Sunita also set the world record for a female astronaut on space walks, totaling 29 hours and 17 minutes.
Every Indian should be proud of Sunita Williams because she has set a record that was out of imagination. Actually Sunita is a lady of firm decision, continuous hard work and struggle. She has been follow able to every youth who wants to do some task off beat in the life. She has proved that Indian brain has no alternative and India is a mine of talents.