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Sunita Williams Prepares for Third Space Mission Aboard NASA’s Starliner
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Sunita Williams Prepares for Third Space Mission Aboard NASA’s Starliner

Jun 1, 2024

Indian-origin astronaut Sunita Williams is gearing up for her third journey into space, set to embark aboard NASA’s Boeing Starliner spacecraft. Scheduled to launch from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre around 10 pm IST on Saturday, the mission marks a significant milestone for Williams and the space agency.

Originally slated for May 7, the mission faced a delay due to technical issues, but NASA, Boeing, and ULA (United Launch Alliance) teams are now working towards a launch opportunity at 12:25 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, as per a statement from NASA.

Joining Williams on this space odyssey is Butch Wilmore, who will accompany her aboard Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft. Their journey to the International Space Station (ISS) serves as a crucial final test before NASA certifies the Starliner for routine missions to the ISS. During their approximately week-long stay at the station, Williams and Wilmore will conduct tests on the spacecraft, contributing to the final certification of the transportation system.

Born in Euclid, Ohio, to Indian-American neuroanatomist Deepak Pandya from Mumbai and Slovene-American Ursuline Bonnie, Sunita Lyn Williams boasts an impressive life journey. Graduating from Needham High School in 1983, Williams went on to become commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy in May 1987.

Her selection as an astronaut by NASA in 1998 marked the beginning of an illustrious career in space exploration. Williams has already completed two long-duration spaceflights, totaling 322 days spent in space.

As Williams prepares for her latest mission, her journey exemplifies the spirit of exploration and collaboration that characterizes humanity’s quest for knowledge beyond Earth’s bounds.

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