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Sunita Williams Returned Back on Earth after 4 Months in Orbit

Nov 20, 2012 12:37 IST

The Indian-American Sunita Williams, 47, set the record by returning to Earth on 20 November 2012 from the International Space Station (ISS) from Russian Soyuz capsule after having spent 4 months in the orbit. She touched the grasslands of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan after living months in the orbit.  

This was the perfect landing for Williams as well as flight engineers Aki Hoshide and Yuri Malenchenko, when they touched down earth in the chilling expanses of Kazakhstan from the Russian Soyuz capsule.
After they landed, helicopters rushed towards them for assistance because the capsule parachuted downwards around 35 km from planned destination because of the procedural delay.

Their return has wrapped a 127-days space sojourn since they were launched in space from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on 15 July 2012, including the 125 days aboard ISS.

Williams has a total span of 322 days in space during two long-duration missions. Initially, she served at ISS as an Expedition 14/15 flight engineer from 9 December 2006 to 22 June 2007. Sunita Williams also has the record for highest spacewalking time for the female astronauts. She has in all 50 hours and 40 minutes spacewalking time.

There are three more Expedition 34 flight engineers- Nasa astronaut Tom Marshburn, Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Roman Romanenko as well as Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield scheduled to be launched from Baikonur on 19 December 2012 for 5-months stay.

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