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Sunita Williams

December 2007
Sunita Williams

WHO: SUNITA WILLIAMS, Space exploration, flight engineer, NASA.

WHY: Becomes the second Indian American to enter space (the first, Kalpana Chawla, didn’t make it back to earth). Williams broke the previous record for the largest space flight by a female astronaut. And now she also holds the record (at almost 30 hours) for the longest time spent on space walks by a female astronaut.

WHAT SHE SAID: “No matter how we look at it right now, space flight is still experimental. We are on the cutting edge and our spacecrafts have just enough power to get to space and the design to come back. We do have to learn quite a bit. One positive thing about the Columbia disaster was this awareness of space travel, science and technology, and math that it created. I can feel that in [my interaction with] children here in India.” (Indian Express interview)

WORTH NOTING: When Williams visited Rashtrapati Bhavan, President Pratibha Patil remarked that samosas, a favorite snack that Williams had taken to space, were included in the menu for her.

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