Sunita Williams' Mission To Space Called OffTop Stories

May 07, 2024 12:52
Sunita Williams' Mission To Space Called Off

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The Boeing Starliner's launch, with astronaut Sunita Williams aboard for her third trip to space, has been delayed due to a technical issue. A new launch date has not yet been announced. Williams, a role model for women who dream of space exploration, was scheduled to depart today in a new spacecraft from Florida's Kennedy Space Center. However, the Atlas V rocket launch was cancelled just 90 minutes before the scheduled takeoff. NASA reported that an oxygen relief valve was not functioning properly, causing the delay. Williams and Barry Wilmore, who were set to travel to the International Space Station, safely exited the spacecraft. Williams has already spent 322 days in space and once held the record for most spacewalk hours by a woman, before being surpassed by Peggy Whitson.

The Starliner, a new spacecraft, embarked on its inaugural journey with astronaut Ms Williams on December 9, 2006. She spent a total of 29 hours and 17 minutes performing four spacewalks during her stay, breaking the world record for women. Although the 59-year-old admitted to feeling a bit nervous, she had no qualms about flying in the new vessel since she had assisted in its design, working alongside NASA and Boeing engineers. Ms Williams, an avid marathoner, even completed a triathlon in space, competing with athletes on Earth. Prior to her trip, she expressed her intention to bring an idol of Lord Ganesh, her "good luck charm," adding to the copy of the Bhagwad Gita she had previously carried. The 10-day mission aims to establish the Starliner's space-worthiness and the team's readiness for long-duration flights under NASA certification. For Ms Williams, the International Space Station is like her second home.

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Sunita Williams  NASA