Friday, 28 September 2007

Sunita felt sad while leaving space after 180 days


Published in The Asian/Deccan Chronicle on September 29, 2007
By SYED AKBAR
Hyderabad, Sept. 28: Astronaut Sunita Williams said here on Friday that she felt sad while coming back to earth after spending 180 days in space as it was a "peaceful world" out there.
"It was a world without prejudice and without any physical boundaries to divide people into nations," said the 42-year-old astronaut.
"The philosophy I learnt while living in space was the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, who advocated a borderless world where all human beings live together in peace," she added.
Sunita felt that space exploration needed similar international cooperation. "It is better that way than one nation doing it," she said.
She was in the city to participate in the concluding session of the 58th International Astronautical Congress on Friday. She interacted with the conference delegates and also spent time with school students.
According to Sunita, the thrill and fascination of the journey into space overweighed all fears and troubles.
"A visit to Mars and the return journey will take two years," she pointed out. "Though the journey will be in a closed capsule, there will be no sense of isolation since you will be in constant touch with the ground staff." Colonising the moon, Mars and other planets would become a necessity in the future as earth was getting overpopulated, she said. While on her space sojourn, Sunita used to recite a couple of verses from the Bhagavad Gita every morning.

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