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Wisconsin astronaut to return to space in 2016

  • Associated Press
  • January 9, 2014 - 3:55 PM

MADISON, Wis. — A NASA astronaut from northwestern Wisconsin is preparing for his fourth flight to the International Space Station in 2016.

Col. Jeffrey Williams took three flights to space since 2000, logging almost 12 full months in Earth's orbit. He'll spend another six months on the space station in 2016, Wisconsin Public Radio reported (http://bit.ly/1dyVdsZ).

Williams, a native of Winter in Sawyer County, said he's preparing for his own flight and also training others for orbital flight. He's working with astronauts from Japan, Russia, Canada and half a dozen European nations.

The training starts off in Texas and Russia and then wraps up in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, the place where the secret launching of Sputnik triggered a space race with the Soviets.

"Since it's such a big trip to get everybody down there, we just stay there," Williams said. "We go into quarantine when we arrive there. There's some training that goes on during that 12 days after fit check. There is time to rest and relax and get rested up for a launch, so the pace is very nice to do that."

Williams says a key thing he's learned is to enjoy the experience.

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