Sunita Williams wants to be a science teacher

Tells students to follow dreams to realise true potential


Geetanjali Minhas | April 4, 2013

Astronaut Sunita Williams has appealed to children to take more interest in space exploration and said that she was really looking forward to India's participation in the space programme in a big way.

“Space programme entails a lot of creativity and requires great imagination. Follow your dreams to realise your creative potential,” she told students at the packed auditorium at Nehru Science Centre on Thursday.

"All this is in the short term. But eventually, I would like to be a school teacher, a science school teacher," Williams told reporters during an interaction.

"We are potentially building a new spacecraft. I would love to be a part of that.”

On Indo-US collaboration in space, she said, "I have been at the NASA. I have seen a growing relationship between the US and India. I think that's great. I have also seen the relationship growing between ISRO and NASA and that is also good."

On the International Space Station, Williams said, “It is a collaborative venture where different countries are actively participating. It has brought the world together.” Williams hopes that in future, ISRO and NASA would collaborate and that would open up several opportunities for young Indians interested in pursuing career in space exploration.

Speaking on her experience in space she said, “While in space, we see 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets in a span of 24 hours. Naturally, you cannot wake up every time the sun rises and go to sleep once it is dark. We set our day to the GMT and would wake up around 6 am and do pretty much the same things we do back home. The work hours are from 8 am to 7 pm GMT. The Command Centre on the Earth gives us assignments for the day. In the beginning, it all looked very clumsy but soon you learn to float around smoothly and get accustomed to living without gravity.”

Asked if it gets lonely out there in space, she said, "No, it doesn't get lonely. There is enough connection with Earth. You can make phone calls to friends and family."

The NASA astronaut holds the record for longest space walk by a woman at 50 hours 40 minutes and plans to end her India trip that began on April 1 by visiting Gujarat along with an excursion to her native village in Mehsana district where she will be meeting members of her father’s family.



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