Sunita Williams craves to go back to space

In New Delhi, astronaut talks about samosas in space.

By Neethu M.

NEW DELHI: She’s hardly come back from space a few months ago, but the Indian American astronaut and US Navy officer Sunita Williams craves to fly again. “Space is home to me”, she said here, during her week-long trip to India.

Astronaut Sunita Williams poses for a photo with her Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuit in the Quest airlock of the International Space Station on August 29, 2012. Photo credit: NASA
A NASA file photo of Astronaut Sunita Williams posing for a photo with her Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuit in the Quest airlock of the International Space Station on August 29, 2012.

Williams was all praise for the Indian space program as she expressed hope that NASA and ISRO will collaborate in the future.

“Over the time I had been at the NASA, I had seen that relationship between India and United States going on a much more positive direction, particularly when it comes to space,” she said.

“India is doing excellent in space programs and has a huge resource of people. ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) is doing a great job,” Williams said.

She appreciated Indian ventures into space, especially the Chandrayan mission and the Mars exploration which is scheduled for later this year. Agreement on a future co-operation between India and the US in Moon and Mars mission will further strengthen the Indian US relationship in space missions, Williams said.

As part of her week long Indian trip, she visited the National Science Centre in New Delhi and interacted with students over there. She shared her aspirations, dreams and her vision with the children. She added that the Indian government should accelerate its space program as lot of students and young people are showing interest in the field.

At the National Science Centre in New Delhi, she said that she never envisioned to be an astronaut and faced numerous failures in life but ultimately reached there. Williams also enthralled the students with a fascinating video tour which she compiled before returning to the Earth in last November.

She was in a jovial mood addressing the students. She talked about how she cherishes her Indian roots. One can find in her a typical Indian when she said “I had samosas in space with me.”

After her conversation with students in the National Science Centre in New Delhi, she visited the Science city in Kolkata. She said, “What do I see when I come to India is I see a lot of creative and innovative people that are ready and willing to jump ahead and be entrepreneurial and add to any program that’s out there”.

Bubbling with energy, Williams says given an opportunity she is all ready to venture into another space mission. She would be visiting various other states across the country including the Indian commercial capital, Mumbai, to interact with school children and locals.

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