Kolkata, Apr 2 IBNS | 2 years ago

. Indian origin NASA astronaut Ms. Sunita Williams has said she became an astronaut because it was fun.


'I thought becoming an astronaut would be liked by me because I liked camping," she said while answering a student's question here in Kolkata at an interaction.

If not an astronaut, Sunita said she would have been a veterinarian for her love of animals.

Williams was interacting with students from different schools of Kolkata following her address on 'Expedition - 33 International Space Station Mission: Challenges and Success' at Science City here.

A United States Navy Officer and record holder for the longest space flight and number of space walks for a female, Williams is visiting India on an invitation from the National Council of Science Museums, Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

Sunita Williams underlined that life in space is 'pretty awesome'.

She called upon the youngsters to join space programme in more and more numbers as it is a 'peaceful adventure'. But to become an astronaut, besides having a science background one must have highest physical fitness and hands-on ability of doing everything, she reminded.

"It was fascinating," was her reply when asked about her first reaction of seeing planet earth from space.

Speaking about NASA-India collaboration, Sunita clarified although, right now she is not aware of India's interest in taking part in the collaboration, in future that may be a possibility.

Dwelling on setting up of space station at Moon or Mars, Sunita quipped, it makes sense although, there is no definite plan as of now.

"We must have capabilities to fly further," she pointed out.

Speaking passionately about her Indian connections, Sunita Williams said India from space was 'nice'.

Some of the things that she took on board of her cosmic voyage: the Bhagawadgita, a statue of Lord Ganesha and typical Indian delicacy - samosa.

She said she is definitely an Indian who is really proud to be a member of the NASA space programme. Planet earth is 'ours and not of any particular country's', she signed off.

(Posted on 02-04-2013)