Suni(ta) Williams

She is NRI- indian born living in the US. She has been talk of the town and main header for past 72 hours in all Indian news channels. The only oops is that these television channels never before informed about this girl before and just now it seems they know it. It's a cheap idea anyway starnews and aajtak have been doing.

No pujas, no garlands, no vows just info and all about Sunita Williams's latest expedition and the past, intended here at this blog. All external links unreviewed. Browse and read than watch and be tensed.

NASA delays landing

NASA has identified five possible times to land the space shuttle Atlantis on Friday, after thunder and low clouds halted plans for it to return to Earth Thursday. The shuttle's first landing opportunity was to be at 1:55 p.m. ET. A 3:30 p.m. landing was also scrubbed because of the weather. @ 

Preflight Interview: Suni Williams @ NASA pages

Q: There are hundreds of thousands of pilots and scientists out there in the world, but there are only about 100 American astronauts. What made you want to try to become an astronaut and be one of those people that flies in space?

Image to right: Astronaut Sunita L. Williams. Image credit: NASA

A: Oh, good question. In my mind, I think everybody wants to be an astronaut. I’ve sort of found out maybe that’s not so true. When I was five years old or so, I saw Neil Armstrong walk on the moon and thought, ‘wow –that’s cool.’ I mean, that’s what I would like to do. Subsequent to that, all the TV shows about going to space sort of set a bit, I think, in everybody’s head that, that would be a great career. I never really thought that, that would happen in my life. It seemed too far out there, something that I could never achieve. Really didn’t touch base with me and hit home until I went to Test Pilot School in Maryland. I’m a Navy pilot, helicopter pilot. In one of our field trips, we came down to Johnson Space Center. It was me and a couple of other helicopter pilots sitting in the back while all the jet pilots in my TPS [Test Pilot School] class were all sitting in the front, listening to John Young talk about the shuttle and about flying to the moon. I remember him talking about learning how to fly a helicopter to land the lunar lander. Something just clicked in my head, and I said, ‘wow,’ you know, maybe there’s a use for helicopter pilots, if we’re going to go back to the moon. So, I sort of said to myself, the only one who’s telling me I’m not going to be an astronaut is me. I did the research on what was required, and I got my master’s degree and applied, and, lo and behold, the second application, I got an interview. So, I think I’m very, very lucky.

You grew up in Massachusetts. Tell me about Needham, Massachusetts.

It’s a great town. It’s a little, as I called it during my astronaut interview, a small town which I was quickly, corrected that it’s not so, so small—there was about, 500 kids in my high school graduating class, but it seems like you know everybody in a town that size. Close enough to Boston, a big Red Sox fan, Patriots fan. When I was growing up Bobby Orr was playing hockey, so, of course, a Bruins fan, and, Larry Bird was playing basketball, so a Celtics fan. A great sports town to grow up in. I grew up as a swimmer, speaking of sports; I spent a lot of time before school and after school swimming. I would contribute whatever discipline I have and direction I have to competitive swimming. It takes up a lot of your time and then you’re trying to fit in, doing your homework and having a social life as you’re growing up. Needham, Massachusetts, close enough to Boston. It was a great place to grow up.

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