Houston: Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams today displayed the tricolour on board the International Space Station and wished Indians on the eve of their 66th Independence Day.

"I wish India a very happy Independence Day for August 15... India is a wonderful country and I am very proud to be a part of India," she said in her message.

"Of course, you know that I am half Indian. My father is from Gujarat. So, I am familiar with culture and customs of India. I am so proud to a part of this (Independence Day) celebration," Williams said displaying India's national flag.

Williams, 46, along with Yuri Malenchenko of Russia and Japan's Akihiko Hoshide left for the ISS aboard a Russian spacecraft Soyuz TMA-05M on July 15 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Williams, who was a flight engineer on the station's Expedition 32 crew, became commander of Expedition 33 after reaching the space station.

Williams was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1998. She was assigned to the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 14 and then joined Expedition 15. She holds the record of the longest spaceflight (195 days) for female space travellers.


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