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Home > News > PTI

Sunita enjoys dinner time the most on ISS

March 08, 2007 19:38 IST

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Dinnertime is for friends and family to gather around the table, trade stories and have a good laugh, be it on earth or in outer space.

Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams, called 'Suni' by her fellow astronauts on board the international space station Discovery, considers dinnertime as the most enjoyable for the crew in the entire day.

Dinner comprises of Indian cuisines like 'saag,' 'paneer' and 'chhole' that she generously shares with her crew mates.

'At the dinner table, we all get together at night to eat and trade stories about the day. It always ends up being a good laugh and a lot of fun,' the official Washington File quoted Williams as saying.

Samosas from back home are remembered with longing.

'The Indian food may be a little too hot for some without rice, roti or raita. Hopefully I will be getting some samosas before too long,' she said.

Asked about her spacewalking record of 28 hours and 17 minutes, the NASA flight engineer said, 'I believe there is a generation of explorers behind me who are going to shatter my record. There will be manned missions to the moon and even Mars in the coming years.'

Inside or outside the space station, Williams said life as an ISS crew member is a busy one.

'Every day is a little bit different. We get a plan by the week and there is an amazing number of things that we are doing from science to maintenance to extra vehicular activity,' she said.

The crew also works out every day to keep in shape. 'That is part of maintaining our bones and muscles while we are up here in microgravity,' she said.

After a month of watching the computer map that monitors the ISS location above earth, Williams now can recognize the continents herself.

'You get pretty good at geography up here because you have some time to look out the window. It is really a nice benefit,' Williams said, adding, 'You can see the small, little atmosphere that protects us. We are only 200 miles or so above the earth and already in a microgravity environment where it is very harsh, in the vacuum of space. And it is hot and cold out there, and you realise there's not much protecting this planet. We need to take care of it.'

'Looking down at the planet, the wonderful places that there are in the world to go, you don't really think about any of the problems that are down there. You just look at the geography and go, wow! That's a really great place; I had love to visit that one day,' she said.

Williams is also excited about the international nature of the project. 'One of the really great aspects of the International Space Station is that it is international. We have had 16 countries working on this project. It is one of the most amazing engineering projects in the world,' she said.

Daughter of Indian-American neuro-anatomist Deepak Pandya and Bonnie, Sunita also encouraged young people to follow their dreams.

'I never thought for a moment I would be an astronaut when I was growing up. Never thought it was possible. And those ideas and those dreams´┐Ż don't let anyone tell you that you can't do them,' she said.

She also thinks the future astronauts have a bright future ahead of them.

'Many people will be up here, not only circling around our beautiful planet but going off to the moon and maybe on to Mars. The next generation has a lot to look forward to in front of them. And I wish them all good luck,' she said.

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