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Needham astronaut to return next month

Posted by Martin Finucane May 9, 2007 06:27 PM

SPACE STATION_.jpg

Williams at work in the space station in February
(Reuters/NASA TV photo)

NEEDHAM

Astronaut Sunita Williams will return to earth next month as originally scheduled, having logged more time in space than any other woman.

The Needham native has been living aboard the International Space Station since December.

She has been busy. She has done everything from expanding the orbiting laboratory to running the Boston Marathon while weightless to chatting via satellite with Queen Elizabeth II.

Williams’ family in Falmouth is anxiously awaiting her safe return home.

Ground Control told Williams last month that the launch of the shuttle Endeavor, which was scheduled to bring her home, had been pushed back to August.

A hailstorm over Kennedy Space Station had damaged another shuttle, the Atlantis, upsetting the flight schedule for the rest of the year.

After a careful review of the schedule, NASA managers gave Williams the thumbs up for a return next month. This time, it will be aboard the recently-repaired Atlantis, which is scheduled to lift off June 8.

-- Lauren K. Meade

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