Astronaut Peggy Whitson sets new space record
Astronaut Peggy Whitson has set a new space record for most days in space by a US astronaut. She has broken the previous record set by Jeff Williams who had spent a total of 534 days in space. President Trump congratulated her through a video chat between White House and the ISS.
Peggy Whitson, at present, is serving as the Space Station Commander of Expedition 51. She was recently launched to the ISS in November 2016 using a Russian Soyuz capsule. At the time of her launch, she had already accumulated 377 total days in space. At the time of her return back to Earth, she would have accumulated more than 600 days in space.
Peggy Whitson already holds many records:
- Whitson holds the record for most spacewalks carried out by a woman astronaut.
- She holds the record for being the first woman to command the International Space Station (ISS) twice. She commanded the ISS for the first time in 2007.
- At the age of 57, Peggy Whitson is the also the oldest woman to have gone into space.
- She holds the record for spending the longest time in space by a woman.
Peggy Whitson was born in Iowa, United States and holds an advanced degree in biochemistry. She has held several prominent medical science and research positions at NASA. She was selected as an astronaut in 1996 and went into space for the first time in 2002.