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Sunita Williams walks in space for 5th time today

PTI 30 Aug 2012, 21:02:19 IST
Cape Canaveral, Aug 30: Indian-American woman astronaut Sunita Williams walked in space for the fifth time today near the International Space Station, where she is presently lodged. 

Sunita Williams and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide went for the second spacewalk of the Expedition 32 mission outside the International Space Statio.  

Sunita wore a suit with red stripes for the fifth spacewalk in her career.  

Hoshide, wearing a suit with no stripes, conducted his first spacewalk. He is the third Japanese astronaut in history to conduct a spacewalk.  

It was a six and a half hour space walk designed to replace a faulty power relay unit on the station's truss, rig power cables for the arrival late next year of a Russian laboratory module, and install a thermal cover on a docking port.  

The astronauts traveled at a speed of 7 km per second while doing the space walk manoeuvre.

The spacewalks was the 163rd and 164th in support of space station assembly and maintenance.

The first spacewalk of the Expedition 32 mission took place on August 20, which featured Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency in Russian Orlan spacesuits.

They floated outside the Pirs docking compartment airlock for a 6-1/2 hour spacewalk to relocate a cargo boom from Pirs to the Zarya module, complete the installation of micrometeoroid debris shields on the Zvezda service module and deploy a small science satellite.  

Sunita took off on July 14 for her second six-month-long space expedition from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Her father, Dr Deepak Pandya said in Ahmedabad  that Sunita watches the earth rotating s if she was sitting in the balcony of a house and looking at the view outside. However,she has not been able to have a closer look at her birth country-India, Pandya said.

Pandya told TOI that Sunita calls him once every week and gives him a lowdown on her work and experiences in the space station.

"Sunita said that her space station allows her to see the earth as if she is sitting in her balcony. The view is so close and clear. However, due to excessive clouds, she has not been able to have a closer look at India. She is hoping to catch a clear glimpse some time soon", said Dr Pandya.