Rediff India Abroad
 Rediff India Abroad Home  |  All the sections


The Web

India Abroad

Sign up today!

Mobile Downloads
Text 67333
Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Contact the editors
Discuss this Article

Home > News > PTI

Sunita's relatives celebrate her safe return

June 23, 2007 15:40 IST

Paternal kin of Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams broke into spontaneous celebration as news of the safe touchdown of her spacecraft Atlantis trickled in the small hours on Saturday.

"We have been anxiously following the return journey of Altantis since the past three days," said Chayaa Pandya, a cousin of Sunita residing in Ahmedabad.

"The tension that had built up among family members since the last couple of days gave way to celebration as we received news of her safe landing early this morning," she said.

According to Chayaa, most of the relatives were wide awake even past midnight and were following the news of the descent of spacecraft, which landed at the Edwards Air Force base in California in its fourth attempt around 01:20 IST.

"As soon as we recieved the news, our happiness knew no bounds and we burst crackers, distributed sweets and danced in joy," Chayaa said, stating the celebrations went on till the wee hours of the morning.

Sunita's paternal uncle Vithal Pandya could not be contacted as he was asleep after the celebrations.

"We have not contacted Sunita yet. We will be calling her father in New Jersey this evening," Chayaa added.

© Copyright 2007 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.