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NASA Astronaut to Run Boston Marathon in Space



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

> March 29, 2007
>
> Allard Beutel
> Headquarters, Washington 
> 202-358-4769
>
> James Hartsfield
> Johnson Space Center, Houston
> 281-483-5111 
>
>
>
> NASA ASTRONAUT TO RUN BOSTON MARATHON IN SPACE
>
> WASHINGTON - NASA astronaut Suni Williams will go faster than anyone 
> has ever gone in the Boston Marathon. She will run the famed race in 
> April as an official entrant from 210 miles above Earth aboard the 
> International Space Station. This will be the first time an astronaut 
> in space will be an official participant in a marathon. 
>
> Williams hopes her unique run will serve as an inspiration.
>
> "I encourage kids to start making physical fitness part of their daily 
> lives," Williams said. "I think a big goal like a marathon will help 
> get this message out there."
>
> Williams, who is an accomplished marathoner, has served aboard the 
> space station since December 2006 as a member of the Expedition 14 
> crew. She will run the race on a station treadmill, circling Earth at 
> least twice in the process, running as fast as eight miles per hour 
> but flying more than five miles each second.
>
> And she will not be alone in her adventure. Her sister Dina Pandya and 
> a fellow NASA astronaut, Karen Nyberg, will run the race in Boston. 
> Williams and Nyberg qualified for the Boston race by finishing among 
> the top 100 females in the Houston Marathon in January 2006.
>
> Exercise is essential in NASA's efforts to counteract the effects of 
> long-duration weightlessness on astronauts' health. For months, 
> Williams has been training for the marathon while aboard the station. 
> She runs at least four times a week, two longer runs and two shorter 
> runs. Station crews are required to exercise on the treadmill, a 
> stationary bike and a resistive exercise machine to counter loss of 
> bone density and muscle mass.
>
> "In microgravity, both of these things start to go away because we 
> don't use our legs to walk around and don't need the bones and 
> muscles to hold us up under the force of gravity," Williams said.
>
> Williams is a native of Needham, Mass., and graduated from Needham 
> High School in 1983. Her family resides near Falmouth, Mass. 
>
> NASA will have an exhibit in Boston during the marathon. Nyberg and 
> astronaut Jeff Williams will be available for interviews. Jeff 
> Williams, who is not related to Suni Williams, completed a six-month 
> stay on the station in 2006. NASA's exhibit will be at the John 
> Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo at the Hynes Convention Center April 
> 13-15.
>
> Due to the crew's sleep schedule, WIlliams' run of the marathon on the 
> station may not coincide exactly with the race on the ground, but 
> mission control is working to match the events as closely as 
> possible. This year's marathon is Monday, April 16.
>
> Television and still imagery of Williams' efforts are expected to be 
> available. Video of her training on the International Space Station 
> will air on NASA TV's Video File. For streaming video, downlink and 
> schedule information, visit:
>
> http://www.nasa.gov/ntv 
>
> For more information about the Boston Marathon, visit:
>
> http://www.bostonmarathon.org/ 
>
> For more about the space station, its missions and crews, visit:
>
> http://www.nasa.gov/station
>
> 	
> -end-
>
>
>
>   
----
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