Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams on Monday said that Kalpana Chawla was a “great friend and a mentor” and the invitation from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit India was a big honour.
Speaking soon after Prime Minister Modi laid wreath at the ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’ and ‘Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial’ at the Arlington National Cemetery, Williams said, “She was a great friend, a mentor and someone you can always sit down and have a cup of tea with. Great person.”
Williams, along with her father and the family members of Chawla, were present during the wreath laying ceremony.
According to ANI, taking about her meeting with Prime Minister Modi, she said, “He primarily spoke to my father, but to me he just said to please come and visit India. I am very honoured to have that invitation.”
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 6, 2016
Though stating that she wasn’t an expert to speak on the India and U.S. scientific collaboration, Williams said, “Right now that is not my field of expertise. I am sort of heads down in a new space craft that we’re building here. But, I have had the opportunity to go to India and talk to many people who are very interested in space collaboration and the space adventure,” She added, “So, I have a feeling, you know, I think most people in India are excited about space as well as about how we are excited about space here.”