Kolkata: Hoping that NASA and ISRO will collaborate in the future, US astronaut Sunita Williams on Tuesday said the Indian government should accelerate its space programme as a lot of students and young people are showing interest in the field.
Williams, who holds the record for the longest spacewalk by a female astronaut at 50 hours, 40 minutes, involving seven space missions, said the US and India were developing a positive relationship as far as space was concerned.
"Over the time I had been at the NASA, I had seen that relationship between India and United States going on a much more positive direction, particularly when it comes to space," Williams, whose father hails from Gujarat's Mehsana, said.
Williams said India had the capability to do a lot more in space research than launching satellites.
The first time she had come here she didn't have permission to go and visit people from the Indian space agency, she said, "And now I see that people from ISRO and NASA are talking together."
Williams was answering a question on whether there was scope for the two space agencies to work together. She said India had the capability to do a lot more in space research than launching satellites and added that children here were very inquisitive about the field.
The astronaut was in the city to participate in an interactive session with students and space enthusiasts. She is on a week-long trip to the country and Delhi was her first port of call on Monday. She had last visited India in 2007.