Her stint with NASA started in 1998. She flew into space on Space Shuttle mission STS-116, aboard the shuttle Discovery, on 10 December 2006. This mission specialist on STS-117 registered many firsts to her name when she landed back on earth on June 22, 2007. This renowned scientist became the first female space traveler to have longest spaceflight of 195 days along with four space walks with total time period of 29 hours and 17 minutes.
In September 2007, on her visit to India, Sunita Williams became the first Non-Resident Indian to be honored with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Pratibha Award by World Gujarati Society.