New Delhi: Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams, who made it to the record books in June for the longest uninterrupted space flight by a woman, arrived in India to a hero’s welcome, witnesses said.
Williams, 42, from the western state of Gujarat, was whisked away by relatives and security personnel from the airport in Ahmedabad soon after her arrival.
The astronaut, on her first visit to India in about a decade, looked slightly bemused as a large crowd of cheering fans, well-wishers and photographers blocked the main exit of the airport.
Her schedule includes a visit to the home of Mahatma Gandhi and a speech at an international space conference.
Williams became a household name in India when she began her 195-day long stay at the International Space Station in December.
When she and her six collegeaues returned to Earth on June 23, she had set several records -- including the longest uninterrupted space flight by a woman.
Williams joined the American space agency NASA as a navy experimental test pilot after flying helicopters in the 1991 Gulf war.