NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Expedition 32 flight engineer, is pictured in the Cupola of the International Space Station during rendezvous operations with the unpiloted Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-3). This image was taken July 27, 2012.
Sunita Pandya Krishna was born in 1965, the youngest of three children in Euclid, Ohio. She became a helicopter pilot and flew several missions all over the world. She applied for the NASA astronaut corps and began her training in August 1998.
Williams is of Indian ancestry from her father’s side and is only the second Indian-American woman to fly into space. She is married to Michael Williams, a federal police officer.
Williams blasted into space for the first time as part of the 14th expedition to the International Space Station on board the shuttle Discovery. She was in space for five months and spent 29 hours and 17 minutes outside of the station. The hours of space walks set a new record for females at the time. Astronaut Peggy Whitson has since broken the record after spending about 40 hours in space.
Williams traveled to ISS the again in July 2012 and will remain there until January 2013. During this time, the astronaut is taking over lead command of the ISS, completed the Boston Marathon and even plans to competing in the Nautica Triathlon. And she’s doing it all in zero gravity.