Science

Sunita Williams takes off for second space odyssey

PTI Kazakhstan | Updated on November 17, 2017 Published on July 15, 2012

Ms Sunita Williams, a flight engineer on the station’s Expedition 32 crew, will take over as commander of Expedition 33 on reaching the space station. She is accompanied by Russian Soyuz Commander, Mr Yuri Malenchenko, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency flight engineer, Mr Akihiko Hoshide.

Ms Sunita Williams, the Indian-American record-setting astronaut, along with her two colleagues today took off for her second space odyssey on a Russian Soyuz rocket, which blasted off successfully from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

46-year-old NASA astronaut, Ms Williams, Russian Soyuz Commander, Mr Yuri Malenchenko, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency flight engineer, Mr Akihiko Hoshide, started their two-day voyage at O8.10 am IST for a four-month mission on the International Space Station (ISS).

The Soyuz TMA spacecraft is due to dock with the ISS’s Zvezda service module at 10.22 am IST on Tuesday.

Born in Euclid in Ohio and raised in Massachusetts, Ms Williams had lived and worked aboard the ISS for six months in 2006-07. She will further extend the record for the longest stay in space for a woman astronaut.

Ahead of the launch, she told reporters that the test mission laid the ground for a long-standing friendship and collaboration in the space programme.

She also said that she will be excited to watch the London Summer Olympics from the station and put a much more global perspective on the mega sporting event beginning July 27.

Ms Williams, a flight engineer on the station’s Expedition 32 crew, will take over as commander of Expedition 33 on reaching the space station.

The trio will join the current ISS occupants, Russian cosmonauts Mr Gennady Padalka and Mr Sergei Revin and NASA astronaut Mr Joe Acaba, who have been in orbit since May 17.

The six crew members will work together for about two months. Mr Acaba, Mr Padalka and Mr Revin are scheduled to return to Earth on September 17.s

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Published on July 15, 2012
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