Being an astronaut is already cool enough, but Peggy Whitson is a cut above the rest. She’s just broken the record for the most time spent in space of any American astronaut.
— Peggy Whitson (@AstroPeggy) April 23, 2017
Whitson, the first woman to command the International Space Station, surpassed the record of 534 days, two hours and 48 minutes for most accumulated time in orbit by an American. That record was set last year by Jeffrey Williams.
To mark the achievement, Whitson spoke to President Donald Trump via video conference. We hope the White House is ready for some serious long-distance phone bills coming their way.
Trump said he’s more impressed by the astronauts than by any of the politicians he deals with in Washington. Ivanka Trump and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins joined him in the Oval Office for the call.
Whitson said it’s a “huge honour to break a record like this”, and that it would not have been possible without the support of NASA.
And safe to say people think she’s an incredibly impressive person.
Peggy Whitson has spent forever in space w/ ppl she hardly knows, 1 tiny impact frm death. I can take on anything #mondaymotivation
— John Williams (@Jonizthebest) April 24, 2017
No one has spent more days in space than Commander Whitson… One small step for woman, one giant leap for humankind. https://t.co/X1QjiQIqkS
— Megan Pendergast (@Mpendergast3) April 24, 2017
— LexxCalliber2112 (@GeekElite77) April 24, 2017
— TARC (@RocketContest) April 24, 2017
Whitson was already the world’s most experienced spacewoman and female spacewalker and, at 57, the oldest woman in space. By the time she returns to Earth in September, she’ll have logged 666 days in orbit over three flights.
The world record – 879 days – is held by Russian Gennady Padalka.