Biography of Sunita Williams



Read Biography of Sunita Williams Alonzo Cano or Alonso Cano was born on 19 March 1601 & died on 3 September 1667, was a Spanish painter, architect and sculptor born in Granada. He learned architecture from his father, Miguel Cano; painting in the academy of Juan del Castillo, and from Francisco Pacheco the teacher of Velázquez; and sculpture from Juan Martínez Montañés. As a sculptor, his most famous works are the Madonna and Child in the church of Lebrija (also called Nebrija), and the colossal figures of San Pedro and San Pablo.

He was made first royal architect, painter to Philip IV, and instructor to the prince, Balthasar Charles, Prince of Asturias. The King gave him the church preferment of a canon of the Granada Cathedral (1652), in order to take up a position as chief architect of the cathedral, where his main achievement in architecture was the façade, designed at the end of his life and erected to his design after his death.
Ideal portrait of a Spanish King.

He was notorious for his ungovernable temper; and it is said that once he risked his life by committing the then capital offence of dashing to pieces the statue of a saint, when in a rage with the purchaser who begrudged the price he demanded. According to another story, he found his house robbed after coming home one evening, his wife murdered, and his Italian servant fled. Notwithstanding the presumption against the fugitive, the magistrates condemned Cano, because he was of a jealous temper. Upon this he fled to Valencia, but afterwards returned to Madrid, where he was put to the torture, which he endured without incriminating himself, and the king received him into favour.

After the death of his wife he took Holy Orders as a protection from farther prosecution, but still continued his professional pursuits. He died in 1676. In his last moments, when the priest held to him a crucifix, he told him to take it away; according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, this was because the priest gave the Sacrament to conversos. Sunita Williams was born on September 19, 1965 in Euclid, Ohio, is a United States Naval officer and a NASA astronaut. She was assigned to the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 14 and then joined Expedition 15. She holds the record of the longest spaceflight (195 days) for female space travelers.

She was born in Euclid, Ohio to Dr. Deepak Pandya and Bonnie Pandya. Her parents now reside in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Deepak Pandya is a famous neuroanatomist. Williams’ roots on her father’s side go back to Gujarat in India and she has been to India to visit her father’s family. She is also of Slovene descent from her mother’s side.

Williams is married to Michael Williams. The two have been married for more than 20 years, and both flew helicopters in the early days of their careers. Her recreational interests include running, swimming, biking, triathlons, windsurfing, snowboarding and bow hunting. She is an avid Boston Red Sox fan. She has a pet Jack Russell Terrier named Gorby which was featured with her on the “Dog Whisperer” television show on the National Geographic Channel on November 12, 2010.

Williams attended Needham High School in Needham, Massachusetts, graduating in 1983. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical science from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1987, and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from Florida Institute of Technology in 1995.

Williams received her commission as an ensign in the US Navy from the US Naval Academy in May 1987. She was designated a Naval Aviator in 1989, and graduated from the Naval Test Pilot School in 1993.

Selected by NASA in June 1998, Williams began her training in August 1998. Her Astronaut Candidate training included orientation briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training and ground school to prepare for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques. She surpassed Kathryn Thornton, who had three spacewalks, as the woman with the most spacewalks. Peggy Whitson later surpassed her for woman with the most spacewalks. Following a period of training and evaluation, Williams worked in Moscow with the Russian Space Agency on the Russian contribution to the ISS, and with the first expedition crew sent to the ISS. Following the return of Expedition 1, Williams worked within the Robotics branch on the ISS Robotic Arm and the related Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator. She was a crewmember on the NEEMO 2 mission, living underwater in the Aquarius habitat for nine days in May 2002.

As of 2008, Williams serves as NASA’s Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office. She is assigned as a backup crew member for Expedition 30 to the International Space Station to be flown in 2011 and will be the Commander of Expedition 32, a six-month mission scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012.

Like many astronauts, Williams is a licensed amateur radio operator, having passed the technician class license exam in 2001, and was issued the call sign KD5PLB by the Federal Communications Commission on August 13, 2001. She used one of the two amateur radio stations aboard the ISS when she talked with school children.

Williams was selected to appear on the Colbert Report to announce the name for Node 3 of the ISS.

Williams was launched to the International Space Station with STS-116, aboard the shuttle Discovery, on December 9, 2006 to join the Expedition 14 crew. In April 2007, the Russian members of the crew rotated, changing to Expedition 15.

Among the personal items Williams took with her to the International Space Station (ISS) were a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a small figurine of Ganesha and some samosas.

After launching aboard Discovery, Williams arranged to donate her pony tail to Locks of Love. The haircut by fellow astronaut Joan Higginbotham occurred aboard the International Space Station and the ponytail was brought back to earth with the STS-116 crew.

In September 2007, Sunita Williams visited India. She went to the Sabarmati Ashram, the ashram set up by Mahatma Gandhi in 1915, and her ancestral village Jhulasan in Gujarat. She was awarded the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vishwa Pratibha Award by the World Gujarati Society, the first person of Indian origin who is not an Indian citizen to be presented the award. She also visited her cousin’s home on her nephew’s birthday. On October 4, 2007, Williams spoke at the American Embassy School, and then met Indian President Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Williams served as a mission specialist with STS-117, and returned to Earth on June 22, 2007 at the end of the STS-117 mission. Space shuttle Atlantis touched down at the Edwards Air Force Base in California at 3:49 p.m. EDT, returning Williams home after a record 195-day stay in space.

Mission managers had to divert Atlantis to Edwards in the Mojave Desert as poor weather at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral forced mission managers to skip three landing attempts there over the last 24 hours. “Welcome back, congratulations on a great mission,” NASA mission control told Williams and the six other members of the crew soon after the shuttle landed.

After the landing, 41-year-old Sunita was chosen as “Person of the Week” by the ABC Television Network. In December, the network noted, she had her long hair cut so she could donate her locks to help those who lost their hair while fighting an illness.

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