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Indian-origin astronaut Sunita Williams dances upon arrival at space station | Watch Video

Astronaut Sunita Williams, who is of Indian descent, is returning for her third mission to the International Space Station.

Written by  Annesha Barua -- June 07th 2024 09:08 AM -- Updated: June 07th 2024 09:34 AM
Indian-origin astronaut Sunita Williams dances upon arrival at space station |  Watch Video

Indian-origin astronaut Sunita Williams dances upon arrival at space station | Watch Video

PTC News Desk: Sunita Williams, an Indian astronaut, and her crewmate, Butch Wilmore, docked the Boeing Starliner with the International Space Station (ISS) securely on Thursday. On her first journey, the 59-year-old astronaut made history by being the first female to pilot and test a newly crewed spacecraft.

Ms. Williams, who has already made three trips to the International Space Station (ISS), is returning with an idol of Lord Ganesh and the Bhagavad Gita.

She conducted a short dance and gave hugs to the other seven astronauts on board the International Space Station to commemorate her arrival at the station.

An ancient ISS custom was the ringing of a bell to greet Ms. Williams and Mr. Wilmore.

Speaking about her "dance party," Sunita Williams stated, "That's the way to get things going."

She referred to her colleagues as "another family" and expressed her gratitude for "such a great welcome".

The initial crew to fly Starliner is made up of Mr. Willmore and Ms. Williams.

About 26 hours after taking off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, they were able to link the Boeing spacecraft with the International Space Station.

Before docking, the two NASA astronauts watched as Starliner performed a series of autonomous maneuvers to gradually approach the orbiting laboratory.

A few minor helium leaks and other mechanical issues caused an hour-long delay in docking.

The crew tested several things during route to the International Space Station (ISS), including piloting Starliner by hand for the first spacecraft ever. They will help with numerous tests and carry out scientific research during their roughly week-long stay in space.

They are supposed to land on land, not in the sea, when they arrive home on the Starliner.

NASA has long sought a substitute for the SpaceX Crew Module for astronaut transportation, and the Boeing Starliner, which is a component of the commercial crew program, appears to be that solution.

Sunita Williams Says Flying To The Space Station Is "Like Going Back Home"

Prior to takeoff, Sunita Williams acknowledged that she was a little anxious, but she insisted that she felt no anxiety about piloting a new spacecraft.

"When I reach the International Space Station, it will be like going back home," she had stated.

Seven crew members can board the SUV-sized Starliner, which was designed with Ms. Williams' assistance.

Given the chance to give the spacecraft a name, she chose "Calypso," evoking the renowned vessel that renowned French oceanographer and filmmaker Jacques-Yves Cousteau used to explore the waters when she was still a student.

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- With inputs from agencies

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