Houston, June 23 (IBNS): Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams is making final preparations for a July launch to the International Space Station, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has said.
Williams, a record-setting astronaut who lived and worked aboard the space station for six months in 2006, will be a flight engineer on the station's Expedition 32 crew, NASA said, adding she will become commander of Expedition 33.
Williams is scheduled to launch at 8:10 am (2:40 am UTC) on July 15 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.
Williams, 46, is a native of Needham, Massachusetts, and a 1987 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.
After earning her commission, Williams served in various roles as a Navy officer before being selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1998. She received a master's degree from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1995.
Williams and her colleagues will be aboard the station during an exceptionally busy period that includes two spacewalks, the arrival of Japanese, U.S. commercial and Russian resupply vehicles and an increasingly faster pace of scientific research.
“I'm just looking forward to seeing the full capability of the space station, it's an experiment, not only the things that we're doing inside but also all the engineering that has gone into allowing us to dock new vehicles, do space walks,” she said in a NASA media release.