Sunita Lyn Williams, born on September 19, 1965 in Ohio,
United States is currently at the International Space Station
(ISS) as a member of Expedition 14. A NASA astronaut, she
is the second woman of Indian origin after the late Kalpana
Chawla to go into space after being selected by NASA.
Married to Michael J. Williams, her family roots go back
to Gujarat from her father's side. She carried a copy of
the Bhagavad Gita, a small statue of Ganesha and some samosas
into space. She completed her Masters in Engineering Management
from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Her stint with NASA started in 1998. She flew into space
on Space Shuttle mission STS-116, aboard the shuttle Discovery,
on 10 December 2006. This mission specialist on STS-117
registered many firsts to her name when she landed back
on earth on June 22, 2007. This renowned scientist became
the first female space traveler to have longest spaceflight
of 195 days along with four space walks with total time
period of 29 hours and 17 minutes.
In September 2007, on her visit to India, Sunita Williams
became the first Non-Resident Indian to be honored with
Sardar Valllabhbhai Patel Pratibha Award by World Gujarati