Sunita Williams takes over space station command
NASA astronaut Sunita Williams (front left) takes command of the International Space Station from cosmonaut Gennady Padalka (front right) during a ceremony marking the start of the Expedition 33 increment aboard the space station on Sept. 15, 2012.
Credit: NASA TV
Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams has taken over command of the International Space Station (ISS), yet another feather in her cap as she already holds three records for female space travelers.
Expedition 32 Commander Gennady Padalka ceremonially handed over control of the space station to Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams in the Destiny laboratory Saturday afternoon during the traditional Change-of-Command Ceremony, NASA reported.
NASA astronaut Williams, Russian cosmonaut Yury Malenchenko and Japan's Akihiko Hoshide remain on the ISS, reported RIA Novosti. On Sep 6, Williams set the new record for total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut with her sixth space walk to repair a faulty power distribution unit.
Williams surpassed Peggy Whitson's record during her excursion as she and her Japanese counterpart Akihiko Hoshide used a toothbrush and a wire brush fashioned out of a spare cable to restore power to the International Space Station.
The spacewalk lasted 6 hours 28 minutes. Williams has now worked outside the station for a total of 44 hours and 2 minutes, overtaking Whitson who worked outside for 39 hours and 46 minutes over the course of six spacewalks.
[ BY VRN ]