Sunita Williams: First marathon runner in space

For #AstronomyDay, DiscovHER focuses on Sunita Williams, an inspiring women astronaut from the NASA.

Born in 1965, Sunita Williams holds various space records. The 188 days that she spent in space during Expedition 14 is recorded as the longest time a female astronaut has spent on a space station. During Expeditions 32 and 33, she clocked up 29 hours and 17 minutes of spacewalks.

In a NASA presentation video published on YouTube in 2010, she explains the incredible feeling she had during her first voyage in space: she realised just how beautiful and luminous Earth is, seen from space.

In 2007, aged 41, S. Williams was recorded by the Boston Athletics Association (BAA) as the first woman to run the Boston marathon in the space station. Due to the effects of micro-gravity on the bones and muscles, astronauts on expedition must do sport on a daily basis. Fit from this regular physical training, and having run a good time at the Houston marathon in 2006, Sunita Williams ran on a treadmill on board the ISS, starting at the time that the Boston marathon began on earth. In these very unusual conditions, she finished the marathon with a time of 4 hours 24 minutes. As she explained to journalists afterwards, her intention had been to set an example for young people, to show just how important sport is. 

In this video, Sunita Williams takes the viewers on a guided tour of the International Space Station and answers questions asked by internet visitors on everyday life in space. 

As well as being a renowned astronaut and marathon runner, S. Williams is a great scientist to follow on Twitter. She has tens of thousands of followers who are enthused by this extraordinary woman's voyages and experiences. In her 2007 video, she said she wanted to return to space, but this time as commander of the Space Station. We wish her every possible success!

Do you know other inspiring women astronaut ? Tell us on @4womeninscience

For Women in Science

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