Astronaut Sunita Williams Returns From Space Station

Sunita Williams in EVA suit

Article by Marcy Frumker, IWASM Trustee

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams returned from the International Space Station on November 19th during a rare nighttime landing in Kazakhstan after a four months mission. Williams, born in Euclid, Ohio, was the second woman to command the International Space Station. (ISS). The Russian Soyuz capsule she returned in with her Expedition 33 crewmates landed in an area with temperatures of 12 degrees Fahrenheit and about four inches of snow on the ground. After this mission of 125 days in space and her prior expedition in 2006-2007, she has a total of 322 days in space—the second most time for women astronauts. Only NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has more with 376 total days in space. Williams has the sixth most time in space for all American astronauts. Williams set a new record for women for cumulative space walking time by a woman with 50 hours and

Sunita Williams return from the ISS.  Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

40 minutes after completing three space walks on this expedition. Williams and Whitson, who was the first woman to command the ISS, have been trading space walking records back and forth in recent years. Expedition 33 also marked the first official cargo delivery by a robotic Dragon capsule built by the U.S. company SpaceX. Shortly after landing in an interview shown on NASA TV by a NASA public affairs spokesperson, Williams stated that she was feeling great to be back on earth but admitted that she was a “little woozy, a little tired” and not her 100 percent yet. She said that her three space walks were the highlight of the mission especially since two of the space walks were unexpected and never really practiced before the flight.

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