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Sunita Williams will be the second Indian-American astronaut after the beloved Kalpana Chawla

The United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration has named Sunita Williams as part of a three-member crew for the six-month-long International Space Station expedition slated to begin later this year.

After the late Kalpana Chawla, 41-year-old Williams -- nee Pandya, who will fly into space for the first time since being selected as an astronaut -- is only the second woman of Indian origin to be space-bound.

Williams will travel to Expedition 14 on the space shuttle STS-116, and serve as flight engineer on the space station. Her fellow crew members are Michael Lopez-Alegria, a veteran of three space flights who will command Expedition 14, and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, a veteran station crew member from Expedition 3.

Text: Suman Guha Mozumder | Photograph courtesy NASA

Also See: Remembering Kalpana Chawla/B>


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