NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson just broke the record for the cumulative time spent in space by any NASA astronaut.
Peggy Whitson just became the astronaut to have spent the longest total time in the low earth orbit, on April 24, 1:27 AM breaking the previous record held by Jeffery Williams for a time of 534 days, 2 hours, and 48 minutes.
Whitson is spending her consignment on the International Space Station right now. Her current mission has five more months remaining before touching back to earth which, marking the record for over 650 days.
On the same day, President Trump, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, and First Daughter Ivanka Trump had a 20-minute call with Whitson at 10 AM EDT, congratulating her on achieving a milestone.
Selected as an astronaut back in 1996, Peggy Whitson’s career spans over two decades. She served her first expedition on the ISS in 2002 that spanned over 184 days. The ISS was only composed of four modules at that time. Peggy made another record on her next expedition in 2008, becoming the first-ever female commander of the ISS. She has assisted with the expansion of the ISS which includes the Columbus laboratory and Kibo logistics modules. During her extensive time aboard the ISS, she undertook numerous scientific experiments along with her team.
For the latest record-breaking mission, Peggy Whitson took off on the Russian Soyuz rocket on November 17, 2016. On the current expedition, she became the only female astronaut to have taken the command of the ISS on two different occasions.
If that was not enough, Peggy made history once again this March for setting up a record for most spacewalks undertaken by a female astronaut, as she departed an airlock of the space station for the eighth time. Peggy’s record for staying outside the ISS on a spacewalk has already crossed a total of 53 hours. More will be added to the clock after the next scheduled spacewalk on May 12.