Childen we going to learn about great Sunita " Williams. She was Born September 19, 1965. She is an American astronaut and united states navyofficer of Indian-Slovenian descent.
Straight from the heart -What do you think the earth looks like? Make a drawing of the earth in your notebook. On your drawing show where you are. Take a look at your friends’ drawings too.
What is our earth really like?
Uzaira and Shahmir are playing with the globe. While they play they are talking to each other.
Uzaira: Do you know that Sunita Williams is visiting our school tomorrow? I have heard that she has spent more than six months in space.
Shahmir: (looking at the globe) Hmm... look here is America, Africa. Hey, where is space? Uzaira: The sky, stars, sun and moon, they are all in space.
Shahmir: Yes, I know. Sunita Williams went in a spaceship. I saw on TV that she could see the earth from there.
Uzaira: Yes, from there the earth looked like this globe.
Shahmir: If our earth looks like this globe, then where are we?
Uzaira takes a pen and places it on the globe.
Uzaira : Here we are. This is India.
Shahmir: If we were here like this, we would all fall off. I think
we must be inside the globe.
Uzaira: If we are inside, then where is the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars? We must be on the globe. And all the seas and oceans must also be on the globe.
Shahmir: (pointing towards the lower part of the globe) You mean
to say that no one stays here?
Uzaira: People live here too. Brazil and Argentina are here.
Shahmir: Are the people there standing upside down? Why don't
these people fall off?
Uzaira: Yes, it looks strange, isn’t it? And this blue part must be the sea. Why doesn’t the sea water fall off?
If the earth is round like a globe, how is it that we do not fall off?
Do the people in Argentina stand upside down?
Talking with Sunita
When Sunita Williams came to India, thousands of children like Uzaira and Shahmir got a chance to meet her.
Sunitasays that her friend Kalpana Chawla wanted to come to India and meet children. She came to India to fulfil Kalpana’s dream.
Sunita’s experiences of living in space! We could not sit at one place. We kept floating in the spaceship from one end to another.
Water too doesn’t stay at one place. It floats around as blobs. To wash our face or hands we had to catch these blobs and wet paper with them.
We ate very differently there. The real fun was when all of us would float into the dining area of the spaceship and catch the floating food packets!
In space there was no need to use a comb. My hair kept standing
all the time! Not being able to walk, we had to get used to floating around.
We had to learn to do simple things differently. To stay at one place, we had to strap ourselves there. Papers also had to be stuck to the wall of the spaceship. It was a lot of fun living in space but it was also difficult.
Isn’t it amazing?
Sunita Williams went 360 kilometres away from the earth, in the spaceship. Think how far this would be! Find out which town or city is located about 360 kilometres away from where you live. This is how far Sunita Williams went away from the earth.
Where are the lines, really!
Sunitadescribes her view of the earth from the spaceship: “The earth looks so beautiful and amazing. We could watch it for hours, from the window of the spaceship.
We could clearly see the curved shape of the earth.”Sunita’s experiences have been used to give to children a sense of the earth’s gravity.
Actually, in the spaceship Sunita did not experience the pull of the earth because the spaceship was revolving around the earth.
When Sunita saw the earth from space she found the earth very beautiful. Many thoughts came to her mind. As she describes it, “From so far away, one can only make out the land and the sea.
Look at this photograph of the earth, taken from a spaceship. From such photographs today we know what the earth looks like. But thousands of years ago, people could only imagine what the earth looked like. Scientists tried hard to find out - how big is the earth, how does it go around?
Uzaira: See, there are lines between the different countries on this globe. Are such lines also there on the earth?
Shahmir: There must be. They are there on the map of India in this book. See, there are lines between the different states too.
Uzaira and Shahmir are looking at different countries on the globe.
Uzaira: If we go from Delhi to Rajasthan, would we find such lines made on the ground?
Shahmir: He closes one eye and moves the coin back and forth while looking at the moon. Look, I can hide the moon behind this coin.
Uzaira: Wow! Imagine hiding such a big moon behind such a small coin. Why don’t you try to do the same with a coin. How many centimetres away from the eye did you keep the coin to hide the moon.
Shahmir thinks that there are lines drawn on the ground between the states. What do you think-
Lines refer to “parallels and meridians”. Distances refer to “latitudes and longitudes”
One cannot see the different countries. Division into countries has been done by us. All the lines on the maps are made by us, they are in our minds. I wish we all think about this. Where are the lines, really?”
Have you ever looked carefully at the sky at night? Do not the
twinkling stars look magical! And sometimes the moon is silvery and
bright, while sometimes it is nowhere to be seen in the black sky.
An interesting photograph!
Aspaceship went to the moon. This photograph of the earth was clicked
from the surface of the moon. See how the earth is looking. Can
you see the surface of the moon.
Sunita was five years old she saw pictures of Neil Armstrong landing on
the moon. In 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. Like any other child, Sunita was also fascinated.
Sunita says that when she was a young girl she really loved sports, especially swimming. She was never too interested in studies. After high school Sunitawanted to become a diver. But she could not get into that course.
Instead, she became a helicopter pilot. One day she found out that if she studied and trained for it, she could join the Space Mission. And that is what she did!
In 2007 Sunita Williams set a new record for the longest space flight by a woman. Sunitaoften gives her own example to tell children, “If you want something, but you get something else, do not give up. Do your best, and things will work out!”
When Sunita was asked by a child what would she like to do in the future, she answered, “I want to become a school teacher!” So that she could make children understand how science and maths are closely linked to our lives.
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