Space mission extended for Iowa astronaut Peggy Whitson
- Author: Kyle Warner Apr 07, 2017,
Apr 07, 2017, 2:27
This is Whitson's third mission and will now last close to 10 months. "Having three more months to squeeze is just what I would wish for".
Astronaut Peggy Whitson is no stranger to breaking NASA records, and the Iowa native plans to add a few more to her list before returning to Earth in the fall. Peggy Whitson will stay with Jack Fischer and Fyodor Yurchikhin (Roscosmos); she will return on Earth with them on September 3. When her fellow NASA astronaut and Expedition 50 commander Shane Kimbrough hands over command of the ISS on Sunday (April 9), she'll become the first woman to command the space station twice.
"I'd describe our prints past year as trailblazers, since they were all made in orbit for the first time and we were exploring how best to utilize AMF", said Matt Napoli, MIS vice president of In-Space Operations. Former astronaut Scott Kelly holds the US record for the longest single flight at 340 days. The US astronaut will now remain in orbit until September.
And on April 24, she'll set a new US record for most accumulated time in space. (MIS) recently celebrated the one-year anniversary (March 23, 2016) of the launch of its Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) to the International Space Station (ISS).
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Whitson said she loves living and working up in the space station.
Between June 2, when Whitson's two Soyuz MS-03 crewmates land, and the arrival of Ryazanskiy's crew, the station will be staffed by one Russian, Yurchikhin, and two Americans, Whitson and Fischer.
Whitson's extension means there will now be six astronauts on board ISS. She's now on her third mission to the station, and recently broke records for most spacewalks by a woman with eight, and most hours spent spacewalking with more than 50. As a NASA astronaut, she's broken several records as the first woman to command the International Space Station, the oldest woman to venture into space at 57 years old, and the top female astronaut when it comes to collective space walking time. Peggy Whitson, a pioneering NA...
"By extending the stay of one of NASA's most veteran astronauts, our research, our technology development, our commercial and our worldwide partner communities will all benefit", said Shireman.