Sunita Williams takes fifth spacewalk
Washington, Aug 31, 2012: Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams, who holds the record of the longest space flight (195 days) for a woman, has completed her fifth spacewalk lasting a near record eight hours and 17 minutes.
Williams and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide set out from the international space station at 5:46 p.m. Thursday (India time) and returned at 2:03 a.m. Friday, the US space agency NASA announced.
The longest spacewalk of 8 hours and 56 minutes was undertaken by US astronauts Susan Helms and James Voss in 2001.
However, Williams and Hoshide failed to replace a power distributor after removing and stowing a failed unit due to difficulties in driving the bolts to secure the replacement switching, officials said.
Williams and Hoshide used a long-duration tie-down tether to secure the replacement distributor to the space station for a future spacewalk.
Earlier, Williams was able to successfully connect one of two power cables in preparation for the future arrival of a Russian laboratory module. But the third objective, replacing a camera on the Canadarm2 robotic arm, was not completed.
Thursday's spacewalk was the fifth for Williams and the first for Hoshide. Hoshide is the third Japanese astronaut in history to conduct a spacewalk. The duo arrived at the station July 16 aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
Daughter of an Indian American father from Gujarat and a Slovenian mother, Williams holds three records for female space travellers: longest spaceflight (195 days), number of spacewalks (five), and total time spent on spacewalks (29 hours and 17 minutes) during her first space journey in 2006.
She 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........IANS//NRIpress.com
congratulate NRI astronaut Sunita Williams,
who set a record for longest time in space
New Delhi., Sep. 30, 2007
NRI Sunita Williams, 42, astronaut arrived in Ahmedabad
on Sep 20 to a rousing and emotional welcome by scores of school-children,
fans and relatives. The last time she came to Gujarat was in 1998,
with an urn believed to contain the ashes of late NRI astronaut
Kalpana Chawla. Scores
of fans thronged the airport, hoping to catch a glimpse of Williams.
- She visited her native village and local leaders presented her
bouquet of flowers. She also visited the Sabarmati Ashram.
- On Sep 24, she attended the International Astronautical Congress
at Hyderabad. She shared her experiences in space with students
of the Gujarat Unviersity in Ahmedabad.
- Sunita was awarded the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vishwa Pratibha
Award by the World Gujarati Society and with this became the first
NRI to receive the honour.
- On Sep 29, she met Sonia Gandhi, Congress party chief at 10
Janpath, New Delhi and spent more than half an hour there. Sonia
Gandh welcomed Williams with a broad smile, congratulated her
on her becoming the only woman astronaut to stay in space for
- She is also expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
- Washington, Jun 23, 2007: On Friday, NRI Sunita
Williams, Commander, has spent the longest time in space, joined
NASA as a navy experimental test pilot.Williams, 41, said her
Indian heritage is a source of pride for her and others. "I
am half Indian and I've got a, I'm sure, a group of Indian people
who are looking forward to seeing this second person of Indian
origin flying up in space," she said in a pre-flight NASA
Williams left Earth on December 9, 2006 aboard a previous shuttle
mission, and before returning aboard the Atlantis Friday set a
record of four space walks by a woman, totaling 29 hours, 17 minutes.
She became the only person, male or female, to run a marathon
in space, finishing in four hours and 24 minutes according to
the counter on the space station treadmill
things Sunita Williams looks forward to on Earth
Williams sets women’s spacewalk record
Sunita Williams has spent more
time spacewalking than any other woman, setting the record on
Sunday as she and a crew mate upgraded the International Space
Station’s cooling system.
She is participating in an experimental fitness
programme designed to reduce the loss of bone and muscle mass
in space travellers
- She will lift weights, run and cycle for at least two hours
a day, and will go shoeless for most of her stay on the orbiting
- She will use her feet to grasp objects so the muscles don't
atrophy while she is floating for the next sixth months, according
to Angela DiNapoli.
"Lots of folks ask about the treadmill because it is hard
to imagine how one can run in space without gravity," Sunita
reportedly wrote in an email to friends and family. "We
are strapped down to the treadmill using a harness and bungees."
She said that the treadmill and exercise bike are both fitted
with a "vibration isolation system" that keeps vibration
from the exercises from affecting various systems on the space
station, according to the Boston Globe.
The space station "can't really take that stomping around,"
she wrote. Her scheduled for space walks is on February 2, 6,
10, and 19.
She broke the previous women’s spacewalking record of more
than 21 hours when she and Michael Lopez-Alegria completed the second
of what could be a precedent-setting three spacewalks in nine days.The
new record of 22 hours and 27 minutes includes her two most recent
walks, as well as a spacewalk in December.
Small amounts of toxic ammonia was leaked from a fluid line during
seven hours spacewalk. It did not appear to touch either astronaut
when the liquid ammonia freezes into flakes by hitting the vacuum
Williams and Lopez-Alegria hooked up the permanent cooling system,
covered an obsolete radiator that was retracted by remote control
from the ground and stowed a fluid line that was connected to an
NRI Sunita Williams, astronaut
selected as a flight engineer for NASA mission
Houston, May 5, 2006
NRI Sunita Williams, astronaut will make her maiden journey to
the International Space Station (ISS) as part of NASA's six-month
mission. The US space agency's 14th expedition to ISS would begin
this fall. Sunita will serve as a flight engineer, NASA announced.
Sunita will join Expedition 14 in progress after traveling to the
station on space shuttle mission.
Sunita L. Williams (Commander, USN)
PERSONAL DATA: Born September 19, 1965 in Euclid, Ohio, but considers
Needham, Massachusetts to be her hometown. Married to Michael J.
Williams. Although they have no children, Labrador retrievers and
a crazy Jack Russell Terrier named Gorby have added their share
of excitement to their lives. Recreational interests include running,
swimming, biking, triathlons, windsurfing, snowboarding and bow
hunting. Her parents, Dr. Deepak and Mrs. Bonnie Pandya, reside
in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Needham High School, Needham, Massachusetts, 1983.
B.S., Physical Science, U.S. Naval Academy, 1987.
M.S., Engineering Management, Florida Institute of Technology, 1995.
ORGANIZATIONS: Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Society of
Flight Test Engineers, American Helicopter Association.
SPECIAL HONORS: Awarded Navy Commendation Medal (2), Navy and Marine
Corps Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and various
other service awards.
EXPERIENCE: Williams received her commission as an Ensign in the
United States Navy from the United States Naval Academy in May 1987.
After a six-month temporary assignment at the Naval Coastal System
Command, she received her designation as a Basic Diving Officer
and then reported to Naval Aviation Training Command. She was designated
a Naval Aviator in July 1989. She then reported to Helicopter Combat
Support Squadron 3 for initial H46, Seaknight, training. Upon completion
of this training, she was assigned to Helicopter Combat Support
Squadron 8 in Norfolk, Virginia, and made overseas deployments to
the Mediterranean, Red Sea and the Persian Gulf in support of Desert
Shield and Operation Provide Comfort. In September 1992 she was
the Officer-in-Charge of an H-46 detachment sent to Miami, Florida
for Hurricane Andrew Relief Operations onboard USS Sylvania. Williams
was selected for United States Naval Test Pilot School and began
the course in January 1993. After graduation in December 1993, she
was assigned to the Rotary Wing Aircraft Test Directorate as an
H-46 Project Officer, and V-22 Chase Pilot in the T-2. While there
she was also assigned as the squadron Safety Officer and flew test
flights in the SH-60B/F, UH-1, AH-1W, SH-2, VH-3, H-46, CH-53 and
the H-57. In December 1995, she went back to the Naval Test Pilot
School as an Instructor in the Rotary Wing Department and the schools
Safety Officer. There she flew the UH-60, OH-6 and the OH-58. From
there she was assigned to the USS Saipan (LHA-2), Norfolk, Virginia,
as the Aircraft Handler and the Assistant Air Boss. Williams was
deployed onboard USS Saipan when she was selected for the astronaut
She has logged over 2770 flight hours in more than 30 different
NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in June 1998, she reported for
training in August 1998. Astronaut Candidate Training included orientation
briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings,
intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station
systems, physiological training and ground school to prepare for
T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival
techniques. Following a period of training and evaluation, Williams
worked in Moscow with the Russian Space Agency on the Russian contribution
to the International Space Station and with the first Expedition
Crew to the ISS. Following the return of Expedition-1, Williams
has worked within the Robotics branch on the ISS Robotic Arm and
the follow on Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator. As a NEEMO2
crewmember she lived underwater in the Aquarius habitat for 9 days.
She is currently assigned to the Expedition-14 crew. She will join
Expedition-14 in progress, to serve as a flight engineer, after
traveling to the International Space Station with the crew aboard