No man-made boundaries visible from space: Sunita

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New Delhi, Oct 2 (UNI) Man-made boundaries between countries lose their importance when viewed from the boundless expanse of space as they cannot be discerned at all, Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams today said.

''Only things visible are the oceans and continents. No man-made boundaries can be seen,'' she told a group of students.

Sunita, accompanied by her father and US Embassy staff, looked cheerful and enthusiastic in her blue spacesuit as she arrived in the Bluebells school to interact with children. Students from other schools, such as Sanskriti and Modern School were also present to speak to Ms Williams.

The astronaut, who returned to the Earth on June 22 this year after staying in space for over six months, set three records for female space travellers -- longest spaceflight(195 days), number of space walks (four), and total time spent on spacewalks (29 hours and 17 minutes).

Asked how it felt to set such records, she termed it a ''very nice experience indeed''.

Greeted with a rousing ovation as she arrived, Sunita confessed she was ''overwhelmed'' by the kind of adulation she received.

Addressing the students, she stressed ''nothing is difficult today,'' and in a specific message to women, said they should not think the boundaries around them are real. ''People around you might give you limitations but it is all a perception. Break these perceptions and notions.'' She fielded a variety of queries about life in space, from the technical to simple ones, wanting to know how difficult it was to brush teeth when in orbit.

Underlining the importance of the Gandhian philosophy, she said it affects everyone's lives. ''People from different cultures stay peacefully in a space station. The world has a lot to learn from the Gandhian philosophy.'' Her father, Dr Deepak Pandya, told UNI that he was ''overwhelmed and proud of my daughter's achievements''.

''Whatever she has achieved, she has done all by herself, we had to do nothing,'' he added.

When asked whether he was apprehensive when she went into space for the first time after the mishap of Kalpana Chawla, he said, '' They were scared when she went on the mission but we had full faith in God and technology.'' UNI PDT VD KN1800

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