|Sunita Williams Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 8 in|
|Date of Birth||September 19, 1965|
|Spouse||Michael J. Williams|
Sunita Williams is an American astronaut and former U.S. navy officer who became renowned as the second American astronaut of Indian descent to go into space, behind Kalpana Chawla. She has completed 2 space expeditions: Expedition 14/15 which lasted from December 9, 2006, until June 22, 2007 and Expedition 32/33, which lasted from July 14, 2012, until November 18, 2012.
Sunita Lyn Pandya
Euclid, Ohio, United States
Houston, Texas, United States
Sunita received her high school education from Needham High School and graduated in 1983. She attended the United States Naval Academy and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Science in 1987.
Moreover, she studied Engineering Management at the Florida Institute of Technology and graduated with a Master’s degree in 1995.
Astronaut, Former U.S. Navy Officer
- Father – Deepak Pandya (Neuroanatomist)
- Mother – Ursuline Bonnie (Zalokar) Pandya
- Siblings – Jay Thomas (Older Brother), Dina Annad (Older Sister)
5 ft 8 in or 173 cm
63 kg or 139 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
She has dated –
- Michael J. Williams – Sunita has been happily married to a federal police officer named Michael J. Williams for several decades. Additionally, the couple does not have any children together.
Race / Ethnicity
Multiracial (Asian and White)
She has Indian ancestry on her father’s side and is of Slovene descent on her mother’s side.
Elongated, pointed chin
Sunita Williams Favorite Things
- Subjects In School – Science, Physics
- Gujarati Sweets – Sukhdi, Magas na laadu (laddoos made from gram flour)
Sunita Williams Facts
- While growing up, her dream was to be a veterinarian as she absolutely loves animals.
- In order to celebrate her Indian and Slovenian heritage, Williams carried a samosa, the Slovenian flag, and Carniolan sausage to space with her. She also carried religious texts like the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, and an idol of the Lord Ganesha for inspiration.
- In 2017, she appeared in a documentary film called The Mars Generation alongside Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Michio Kaku, etc. The film centered around a new generation of teenagers preparing to visit the planet, Mars.
- Sunita holds the distinction of being the first person to run a marathon in space, which she accomplished on April 16, 2007, by completing the 2007 Boston Marathon with a runtime of 4 hours and 24 minutes.
- On September 17, 2012, she became the second woman to command the International Space Station after Peggy Whitson.
- During her 2 shuttle missions, Sunita spent about 322 days in space and made 7 spacewalks. Her cumulative spacewalk time stands at 50 hours and 40 minutes and distinguishes her with the second-highest total cumulative spacewalk time (as of 2023) among female astronauts.
- She was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award, by the Government of India in 2008.
- The World Gujarati Society awarded her the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vishwa Pratibha Award in 2007. Sunita was the first ever person of Indian descent who was not an Indian citizen to receive the award.
Featured Image by Robert Markowitz / Wikimedia / Public Domain