Peggy Whitson was the first woman to ever command the International Space Station when she took over control in 2007 and now she's about to break records again. After launching late last night, she'll take control of the ISS for the second time in February and by the time her mission ends, she'll have spent more time in space than any other U.S. astronaut.
Whitson was born in Iowa in February 1960, and holds an advanced degree in biochemistry. While she has held many important functions at NASA over the past three decades, Whitson is best known for her achievements off world. She holds the record for most EVA time for a female astronaut, became the first female ISS commander in 2007 and as of now, has become the oldest woman (at age 56) to fly into space.
We are ready for our launch tomorrow! All #smiles today during our crew press conference in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. pic.twitter.com/1j8ZMLMOsN
— Peggy Whitson (@AstroPeggy) November 16, 2016
Whitson will once again take over control of the International Space Station in February 2017, but when she rescinds that command to her replacement and heads on home, she will beat out Jeff William's 534 day record, making her the most experienced U.S. astronaut.
Traveling ~4,700 miles per hour, @AstroPeggy and 2 crew members continue their journey from Earth to @Space_Station: https://t.co/f1K1MFG4sN pic.twitter.com/WItkS7Fp1q
— NASA (@NASA) November 17, 2016
Whitson's latest launch took off from he Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, along with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet. They should arrive at the space station on Saturday and will stay until sometime in May next year.[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zmuuTiOQeY']
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KitGuru Says: Congratulations to Miss Whitson, that's some impressive achievements. We wish her and the other intrepid space-venturers all the best for their latest mission.