Finishing a 288 days of mission in outer space, Dr. Peggy Whitson has set a shattering record in the history and stands as a top American woman spending most of the time in space. Dr. Peggy Whitson, 57 years old, is also the oldest female astronaut in the history of space exploration, was the first female International Space Station commander, and is also known to hold the record for most number of spacewalks by a woman. She ranks eighth on the list of all-time space endurance list according to NASA. Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka holds the world record, having spent 879 days in space over five missions.
She is also a biochemist by profession, Whitson worked as NASA scientist for seven years before started as an astronaut in 1997. and is completing a mission at the International Space Station that began in November 2016, covering 122.2 million miles (196.7 million kilometers) and 4,623 orbits of Earth. They started their journey in Soyuz capsule, an MS-04 aircraft which landed in Kazakhstan at 9.22 pm (0122 GMT Sunday) with her crewmates Jack Fischer of NASA and Fyodor Yurchikhin of Russian space agency Roscosmos. According to her Facebook post, she shared pictures of her experiments which she conducted on the recent mission including growing Chinese cabbage, working on human stem cells and blood samples.
Originally she was supposed to return to Earth in June, she accepted the opportunity to stay three more months with her approach. This incident and all the previous incidents implied the enthusiastic person in Whitson of those relatively few astronauts who’s not only passionate about space, but has had plenty of opportunities to show it. Expedition 53 continues with Randy Bresnik, the new commander of the International Space Station. He admired Dr. Whitson by calling her an “American space ninja”. Dr. Whitson said she was looking forward to seeing family and friends and had especially missed a flushing toilet. Back on Earth, she will pass on her knowledge to the next generation.
She was also quoted saying, “I am working on paying forward some of the advice and mentoring that I received on my journey in hopes that one day those young people will do the same and look back on a life in which they leap at the opportunities and brake their own records. She is so determined and by the incident she inspired millions of others to live the life on purpose and fulfill all the dreams no matter what comes in the way.
Article by Vaishali.