Washington, July 15 (IBNS) Indian-American NASA astronaut Sunita Williams has done it again. She took off on her second space visit on Indian time Sunday, which is Saturday in USA, along with a Russian and a Japanese astronauts.
Before taking off, she tweeted: "Last tweet before launch! My backup crew, soon to be prime. Goodbye Planet Earth for now! Woo Hoo!"
According to NASA, its Flight Engineer Sunita Williams, Russian Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:40 p.m. EDT Saturday, July 14 (which is Sunday in India).
Williams, Malenchenko and Hoshide are scheduled to dock their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft to the Rassvet module of the station at 12:52 a.m. EDT Tuesday, July 17.
They will join Expedition 32 Commander Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Flight Engineers Joe Acaba of NASA and Sergei Revin of Russia, who have been aboard the orbiting laboratory since May 17.
The six crew members will work together for about two months. Acaba, Padalka and Revin are scheduled to return to Earth Sept. 17. Before they depart, Padalka will hand over command of the station and Expedition 33 to Williams. She, Malenchenko and Hoshide will return home in mid-November.
NASA Television will provide live docking coverage beginning at 12:15 a.m., July 17. Hatch opening and welcoming ceremonies will occur about three hours later.
India's former president and nuclear scientist APJ Abdul Kalam wished her saying "I want to say 'all the best'
Sunita Williams (born Sunita Pandya Krishna) is an American astronaut of India origin and United States Navy officer who holds the record for longest spaceflight by a woman.
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 space flight (195 days) among female space travelers.
The 1965 Ohio born Williams is married to Michael J. Williams, a Federal police officer in Oregon.
Williams is a pious Hindu who took a copy of Bhagavad Gita and an idol of Lord Ganesha when she visited the International Space Station on her record-breaking space flight first.