Washington: "Get involved, try to be a part of it" is the message of record-breaking Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams to millions of Indians students and space enthusiasts.
Stressing that India has a great resource of people and talent, Williams, who is just back from her 127 days mission to the International Space Mission, said she can`t imagine India taking a backseat in space programmes.
"You know, I hope so. I am short of had my head down for last mission for the last couple of years. So I haven`t really been in the know about all the Indian space program and what it has been doing, but gosh we really hope so," Williams, 47, said when asked if India stands a chance in front of US and Russia to emerge as a leader in space research.
"India has a great resource of people and talent out there that I can`t imagine, Indian taking a back seat. So, I am really hoping they will jump out there and be part of the space programme and be flying people in space before too long," Williams told PTI in an interview.
Asked what would her message to fans in India, she said, "I think the message that I would like to give to folks in India about the International Space Station is get involved".
She added, "We have experiments up there from all over the world, not only the international partners that participated in building the space station, but all over the world... universities, schools, we talk to kids all over the place.
"Get involved, try to be part of it, open up new doors and new opportunities".
Williams has spent a total of 322 days in space during her two long-duration missions.
That makes her the second most experienced female astronaut in history, behind NASA`s Peggy Whitson (who spent 377 days in space during two station flights).
Williams now also holds the record for spacewalking time for female astronauts.