Sunita Williams Takes Off Into Space
How about this for a non-traditional career? Navy Captain and NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, holder of the record for longest spaceflight by a woman, is on her way to her second flight mission. Williams took off on her second space mission this past Sunday aboard a Russian Soyuz spaceship for a 4-month mission on the International Space Station. The three-person space crew include the Indian-American Sunita Williams, Russian cosmonaut Yury Malenchenko and Japan’s Akhito Hoshide. The mission is part of Russia’s attempt to boost its again especially given that NASA has put its manned space program on ice.
Sunita Williams is no stranger to fame. Born to an Indian father and Slovenian mother she became the second person of Indian origin, after Kalpana Chawla, to be selected by NASA for a spaceflight in 2006. Williams set a record for the longest spaceflight by a woman when she completed 195 days aboard the ISS during her first mission – the STS 116 aboard space shuttle Discovery. Williams also holds the record for most spacewalks by a woman astronaut.
Williams is not your average rockstar astronaut. Williams also holds the unique distinction of being the only person to have run the Boston marathon from the ISS in April 2007 during her first spaceflight. She plans on voting in November’s presidential elections and watching the Olympics from the International Space Station.
We tip our hats to you, Sunita. You make us proud to call you an overachiever.