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Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams would travel to space for the second time in June 2012. Born of Gujarati parents in Euclid, Ohio, Williams, 44, holds the longest space flight of 195 days for space women. Williams would be joined by flight engineers Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide on Soyuz 31 flight to the space station.
The announcement in this regard was made by - NASA and its international partners, the Russia Federal Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which have assigned four new International Space Station crews. NASA said William would become the commander of the International Space Station in October 2012.
Selected by NASA in June 1998, Williams served as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station. She launched with the crew of STS-116 on December 9, 2006, docking with the station on December 11, 2006.
As a member of the Expedition-14 crew Williams established a world record for females with four spacewalks totaling 29 hours and 17 minutes of EVA. Astronaut Peggy Whitson subsequently broke the record in 2008 with her five total spacewalks.
Williams concluded her tour of duty as a member of the Expedition-15 crew returning to Earth with the STS-117 crew to land at Edwards Air Force Base on June 22, 2007. During her increment in space, Williams broke the existing record by Shannon Lucid, setting a new record for females of 195 days in space.