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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Sunita Williams

We Can Be Heroes

Dr. Ellen Ochoa, the First Latina in Space, Is Now the Johnson Space Center’s Second Female Director, Too

When it comes to writing about female astronauts, our coverage here at The Mary Sue tends to be somewhat Sunita Williams-centric. (She’s awesome, OK?) But here’s another lady astronaut you should know: Dr. Ellen Ochoa, who this month becomes the second female and first Hispanic director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

She was also the first Latina in space, if you need more impressing.

Oh, and she’s also a classical flutist. That instrument was the bane of my existence in the fourth grade, so anyone who can play it without passing out gets my respect, even without also being an awesome astronaut.

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It Came From Outer Space

Sunita Williams To Return from the International Space Station Today, Will Make Earth a Little Better by Being On It

Here at The Mary Sue we love Sunita Williams. How can we not? She holds several records for female astronauts, among them the longest stretch of time spent in space. She’s completed a marathon and a triathlon from up among the stars. And she’s only the second female in history to command the International Space Station. Today at 5:26 PM EST Williams and her crew will undock from the ISS and begin their trip back to Earth. Speaking as an Earthling (well… as far as you know), we’ll be glad to have her back.

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Supergirly

Sunita Williams Takes Command of the ISS, Completes a Triathlon in Space; What Have You Done This Week?

Today in Sunita Williams Is More Awesome Than You news: The Indian-American astronaut, to date the holder of three records for female astronauts (number of space walks, total time spent on space walks and longest stretch spent in space), now has another record under her (space)belt: She’s completed the first-ever space triathlon, running, biking and swimming in Southern California’s Nautica Malibu Triathlon, albeit from 240 miles (in vertical distance) away in the International Space Station (ISS).

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And All Was Right With the World

Sunita Williams Is Chatting With Bill Nye From the ISS

Wonder Science Powers activate! Remember last week when NASA astronaut Sunita Williams helped save the International Space Station with some quick thinking and a toothbrush? Sure you do. Like us, you were very likely overwhelmed by the event’s sheer awesomeness, and near Douglas Adams-ian goofy details.

Well, be prepared for another Thursday science-gasm, because right…NOW (or very, very soon)…you can catch a live stream of Williams chatting live from 250 miles above the Earth on YouTube’s Space Lab, which is hosted this week by none other than fellow household name for pure reason, Bill Nye. In this LiveStream broadcast, Williams and the fellow ISS astronauts will be conducting space experiments proposed by teenage viewers as part of an international contest. The winning experiments, which include Dorothy and Sara of the US (whose experiment has possible applications in germ theory and disease), will be supported by discussions from Nye and the astronauts about the science behind the results.

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she blinded me with science

Sunita Williams Helps Fix ISS With Toothbrush, Busts Women’s Spacewalk Record

sunitawilliams_BAMF

There is nothing that isn’t awesome in that headline, fellow people of the future.

This morning’s space news oddity proves that you needn’t know where your towel is at, as long as you can find your toothbrush. According to MSNBC, an astronaut walkabout team consisting of NASA’s Sunita Williams and Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide were recently charged with clearing debris from a faulty bolt housing, one that prevented them from properly installing a main busing switch. The International Space Station is powered by four of these 220 lb switches – also known as MBSUs – which relay solar power from collection arrays around the complex. A failed attempt last week to remove the former MSBU from the slot and install a spare had left two of the Station’s eight panels unable to relay power, a situation that astronaut Jack Fischer, speaking from Mission Control in Houston, compared to, “living on the set of ‘Apollo 13′.”

Sounds dramatic, sure, but remember that swapping out a busing switch for the International Space Station is a little more complicated than popping out of your car to change a tire.

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