Indian-origin astronaut Sunita Williams scripts historical past, pilots NASA’s Boeing Starliner to space


Indian-American astronout Sunita ‘Suni’ Williams- piloted spacecraft carrying fellow NASA astronaut Barry’ Butch’ Williams was launched on Wednesday.

Indian-American astronout Sunita ‘Suni’ Williams- piloted spacecraft carrying fellow NASA astronaut Barry’ Butch’ Williams was launched on Wednesday towards the International Space Station (ISS) from the Cape Canaveral Space Station in Florida in a check flight that was hit with a number of delays.

“Let’s go, Calypso,” was the message Sunita radioed to mission management minutes earlier than liftoff, referring to the identify of the Starliner capsule. “Take us to space and back.”

Starliner is scheduled to attain the ISS right this moment at round 9.45 pm Indian Standard Time (round 12:15 pm ET).

Sunita’s mom, Bonnie Pandya, informed NBC News hours earlier than liftoff that her daughter was in good spirits and was “so happy about going.”

NASA mentioned in an replace on Thursday morning mentioned that each Sunita and Butch Wilmore are onerous at work performing preliminary assessments on the Starliner spacecraft in orbit,

“The first six hours have been absolutely fascinating,” Butch who took handbook management of the spacecraft informed the mission centre at NASA’s centre in Houston.

NASA mentioned that at 10:52 am ET, Boeing’s Starliner lifted off on a ULA Launch Atlas V rocket for the primary time and the mission dubbed because the Crew Flight Test goals to certify the spacecraft for routine space journey to and from the International Space Station.

Sunita Williams, 58, has scripted historical past by turning into the primary feminine astronaut to fly on the primary flight of a crewed spacecraft. The flight additionally marks Sunita’s third foray into space.

Starliner’s success will decide if the spacecraft will likely be licensed to fly six-month astronaut missions to and from the ISS for NASA, one thing which Elon Musk’s SpaceX already does.

After a protected arrival on the space station, Wilmore and Williams will be part of the Expedition 71 crew of NASA astronauts Michael Barratt, Matt Dominick, Tracy C. Dyson, and Jeanette Epps, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Nikolai Chub, Alexander Grebenkin, and Oleg Kononenko.

“Two bold NASA astronauts are well on their way on this historic first test flight of a brand-new spacecraft,” mentioned NASA Administrator Bill Nelson after the Starliner launch.

Meanwhile, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk congratulated Boeing on the profitable launch of its Starliner craft to space.

“Congratulations on a successful launch!” SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk mentioned through X right this moment. He additionally retweeted the US space company’s tweet that learn “Starliner to the stars!”


During a 2013 press convention on the National Science Centre in New Delhi, Sunita informed reporters that in her space missions she carries along with her the Bhagavad Gita and samosas.

Both Suni and Butch will stay within the ISS for a few week earlier than undocking from the ISS re-enter Earth’s environment. It will make a parachute and airbag-assisted touchdown within the southwestern United States on June 10, NASA mentioned.

After the profitable elevate off on Wednesday night time, NASA chief Bill Nelson mentioned in a submit launch press convention termed it as a “special moment.” “It’s another one of those great markers in history,” he mentioned.

“Today’s launch is a milestone achievement for the future of spaceflight,” Nelson posted on X including, “Butch and Suni–safe travels through the stars. See you back home.”

Both Boing and SpaceX obtained funding from NASA’s Commercial Crew program in 2014 to carry astronauts to the ISS after the US space company retired its Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

Boeing obtained over USD 4 billion in US federal funds to develop the Starliner, whereas SpaceX obtained about USD 2.6 billion.

SpaceX firm’s Crew Dragon has carried out 12 crewed missions to the ISS since its first launch on May 30, 2020.

Before Wednesday’s launch the final try to launch Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft was scrubbed on Saturday lower than 4 minutes earlier than blastoff from the Kennedy Space Centre due to a floor system pc triggering an computerized abort command that shut down the launch sequence.

On May 6, NASA, Boeing and ULA “scrubbed” the launch due to a “suspect oxygen relief valve on the Atlas V rocket’s Centaur second stage”

Sunita, from Needham, Massachusetts, earned a bodily science diploma from the US Naval Academy, and a grasp’s in engineering administration from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Her first spaceflight was Expedition 14/15 (from December 2006 to June 2007) launching on space shuttle Discovery’s STS-116 mission to attain the International Station, in accordance to NASA.

While onboard, Sunita established a world report for ladies on the time with 4 spacewalks. She concluded her tour of obligation by returning to Earth with shuttle Atlantis’ STS-117 flight to land at Edwards Air Force Base in California on June 22, 2007.

Selected as an astronaut by NASA in June 1998, Sunita has spent a complete of 322 days in space on two missions and amassed 50 hours and 40 minutes of cumulative EVA time on seven spacewalks.

She labored with Roscosmos on its contribution to the space station and with the primary Expedition crew.

Meanwhile, 61-year-old, Barry Wilmore has logged 178 days in space and has 25 hours and 36 minutes of time on 4 spacewalks.

 (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DNA employees and is printed from ANI)

Nilesh Desai
Nilesh Desai
The Hindu Patrika is founded in 2016 by Mr. Nilesh Desai. This website is providing news and information mainly related to Hinduism. We appreciate if you send News, information or suggestion.


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