Mumbai, Sep 8 (): Sunita Williams, Indian-American astronaut has set a new world record among women astronauts by accomplishing the longest walk in space.
NASA said in its statement on Thursday that the 47-year old woman astronaut, Sunita Williams outdid Peggy Whitson, who did space walks for 39 hours, 46 minutes in six space walks. Adding up all her space walks on Wednesday, Sunita Williams’s spacewalk timings totalled 44 hours, 2 minutes in her six spacewalks.
Sunita’s Wednesday spacewalk lasted 6 hours, 28 minutes. Akihiko Hoshide, the Japanese astronaut and Sunita accomplished repairs in the main power unit switching mechanism of the International Space Station. With completing that task that ran into issues last week, both the women astronauts also engaged in installing a camera on the robotic arm of the space station.
Engineers from ground and astronauts in the orbit worked to develop improvised tools for clean up metal shavings from the socket of troublesome bolt, after the efforts taken to plug in new power relay unit failed last week.
This time, Sunita and Akihiko were equipped with wire brush, jury-rigged tools and a toothbrush. The two women astronauts applied lubricant to the bolt and applied extra pressure. They brushed and also blew away most of metal shavings and debris which were discovered on last Thursday’s eight-hour trip. Wednesday’s spacewalk lasted for around 6 and half hours,which is one of the longest spacewalks on record.
Incidentally, Sunita Williams is the woman astronaut who has spent 195 days in the space. She started her first mission to space station on December 9, 2006 and returned on June 2007.
In the month of September, 2007 she came to India and met all her family members in Gujarat. She had interactions with the school children from different parts of the country. On July 14, 2012, she started her current mission to space station.