Sunita Williams, a record-setting Indian American astronaut who lived and worked aboard the International Space Station for six months in 2006, is headed to space once again in July.
Williams is scheduled to take off July 14 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with flight engineers Yuri Malenchenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, NASA said.
The 46-year-old Williams will be a flight engineer on the station’s Expedition 32 crew and will become commander of Expedition 33 on reaching the space station.
According to NASA, Williams and her colleagues will be aboard the station during an exceptionally busy period that includes two spacewalks; the arrival of Japanese, American commercial and Russian resupply vehicles; and an increasingly faster pace of scientific research.
Williams, whose father hailed from Gujarat, was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1998. She was assigned to the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 14 and then joined Expedition 15. She holds the record of the longest spaceflight (195 days) for female space travelers.
Williams received a master’s degree from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1995.
In space, Williams and her team of astronauts plan an orbital sporting event to mark the Summer Olympics in London.
via reuters and Getty Images News