On Saturday, Astronaut Peggy Whitson touched down in Kazakhstan at 9:21 p.m. EDT alongside a fellow American and a Russian in their Soyuz capsule, wrapping up a record-breaking mission.
Whitson spent 288 days — more than nine months — on this latest mission aboard the International Space Station. But over the course of her career, she has been away from earth for three long-duration missions, an accumulation of 665 days — longer than any American ever and more time than any woman worldwide.
Whitson, who is also a biochemist, broke the record for an American astronaut's time in space in April on her 534th day in orbit, as The Two-Way reported. President Trump called her to offer congratulations and they discussed the timetable for sending humans to Mars.
Whitson has smashed other records as well: she is the world's oldest female astronaut (57 years old), the most experienced female spacewalker (10 space walks) and she is the first woman to have commanded the space station twice, reports The Associated Press."
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