Female NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson breaks spacewalking record

James Marshall
April 8, 2017

It seems that she is not satisfied with her record so far and is planning on staying for three more months at the International Space Station (ISS), surpassing her own numbers. "There's a lot of folks that make it happen", Whitson said in an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News while aboard the International Space Station. She became the first woman to command the space station in 2008, and come Sunday, will become the first woman to command it twice.

"I love being up here", Whitson said in a statement. As of April 6, she's spent a cumulative total of 515 days in space and is mere weeks away from beating fellow US astronaut Jeff Williams' record of 534 days in space. She feels that she needs to make the most of her time there so that she can make the greatest contributions and that having three more months was what she would wish for.

Peggy Whitson is no stranger to defying steep odds. They were to return in June.

To facilitate the extension of Whitson's expedition, NASA coordinated with Russian space agency Roscosmos to cut one astronaut from Russia's crew soon arriving at the space station, leaving a vacant seat for Whitson on their return trip.

Last week, Whitson broke another record for the longest spacewalk by a woman.

She is also the oldest woman to go to space as well as the first woman to command the ISS with Expedition 16.

"This is great news", Whitson said in a press release.

On April 24 she will break Williams' record as anticipated. Former astronaut Scott Kelly holds the USA record for the longest single flight at 340 days.

Whitson took off aboard the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft on November 17, along with spacecraft commander Oleg Novitskiy and flight engineer Thomas Pesquet, a European Space Agency astronaut. Now she has a chance to grab another two - for a female astronaut with longest single flight and for the longest cumulated time in space among all NASA astronauts.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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