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Sunita Willams to begin work on NASA expedition in December

October 20, 2006 11:23 IST
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Indian-origin astronaut Sunita Williams will serve as a flight engineer on NASA's Expedition 15. Williams will fly to the station on STS-116 in December.

She received her commission as an ensign in the United States Navy from the United States Naval Academy in May 1987.

Williams is the second American woman astronaut with Indian roots, after the late Kalpana Chawla, to be selected for a space mission by NASA.  

During the 15th long duration mission to the space, which calls for the shuttle to dock with the space station in March 2007 to begin its six-month cycle, crew members will install the third port truss segment, the second starboard truss segment and the third set of solar arrays and batteries, according to a NASA release. 

NASA has named astronauts Clayton Anderson and Daniel Taniand while Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, named Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov for the mission. 

Williams will work as flight engineer till Anderson reaches the station aboard space shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission, targeted for launch in June 2007. He will return on shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-120.

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