Mon, 17 Sep 2012 10:50:41 GMT | By PTI

Sunita Williams takes over command at International Space Station

Houston: Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams has taken over the command of the International Space Station, becoming the second woman in history to do so, even as a three-member crew of the Expedition 32 returned safely to earth, wrapping up a mission lasting more than four months.


Sunita Williams takes over command at International Space Station (© Reuters)

The three-man crew onboard a Russian-made Soyuz capsule touched down successfully in central Kazakhstan steppe on Monday morning after spending 123 days at the Space Station.

Just after the Soyuz spacecraft separated from the space station on Sunday, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams took over command of Expedition 33 at the station from Commander Gennady Padalka, becoming the second woman in history to do so.

Williams will be sharing the Space Station with veteran Russia cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide until mid-October, when three more astronauts, including NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, will arrive and round out the full crew of Expedition 33.

"I would like to thank our (Expedition) 32 crew mates here who have taught us how to live and work in space, and of course to have a lot of fun up in space," Williams told Padalka during a change of command ceremony.

(Continued)
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