Sunita Williams to Fly in Space for the 3rd Time

Indian-origin NASA astronaut Sunita "Suni" Williams" is set to be part of the first crewed flight of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). This mission will mark Williams's third visit to the ISS, where she will join a team of astronauts to conduct various scientific experiments and missions during her stay.

Sunita, along with fellow astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore, will play a crucial role in this historic mission.

The mission — Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) — will have Sunita and Wilmore to fly aboard the Starliner spacecraft as part of the CFT mission.

The launch is scheduled for May 6, 2024

The Boeing CFT aims to demonstrate the spacecraft's capabilities and readiness for future crewed missions to the ISS. Completing the CFT will broaden NASA's capability for crew transportation to and from the ISS. If successful, this mission will pave the way for operational crew rotation flights using the Starliner spacecraft starting in 2025.

Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams
(L-R) —  Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams during T-38 pre-flight activities at Ellington Field. (Image Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz) 

Sunita Williams to Fly in Space for the 3rd Time

The Starliner will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Sunita is a seasoned astronaut with an impressive spaceflight history, including previous visits to the ISS. Barry Wilmore who is an another experienced astronaut, Wilmore will serve as the spacecraft commander.

After docking with the ISS, Sunita Williams and Barry Wilmore will conduct their mission aboard the station before returning to Earth.
Sunita Williams to Fly in Space for the 3rd Time
Suni Williams, pilot for Boeing’s Crew Flight Test (CFT), checks her spacesuit and helmet during a crew validation test inside the Astronaut Crew Quarters at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Oct. 18, 2022. (Image Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett) 

Sunita's journey represents a significant milestone in space exploration, and her contributions continue to inspire us all.

Sunita's paternal family is from Jhulasan in the Mehsana district in Gujarat, India, whereas her maternal family is of Slovene descent. Sunita has taken the Slovenian flag, a samosa and Carniolan sausage to space in celebration of her Indian and Slovenian heritage

NASA is partnering with Boeing and SpaceX to build a new generation of human-rated spacecraft capable of taking astronauts to the International Space Station and expanding research opportunities in orbit. Boeing's upcoming Orbital Flight Test is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with the goal of returning human spaceflight launch capabilities to the United States.

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