US astronaut Peggy Whitson has set many records during her spaceflight career. Across three voyages to the International Space Station, just this week she surpassed the US record for cumulative time in space, which previously stood at 534 days, 2 hours, and 49 minutes. She will remain on the space station for another five months, due to a mission extension related to the Soyuz spacecraft launch and landing schedule.
It is actually a huge honor to break a record like this, but it is an honor for me to be representing all the folks at NASA who make this spaceflight possible and make me setting this record feasible,” said Whitson during a recent Earth-to-space phone call with President Donald Trump. She appeared via video from the orbiting complex, under a banner that jokingly called her the “New US High-Time Space Ninja.”
During an April 13 media interview, Whitson said that despite her long career, she wouldn't mind going to the moon, Mars, or “some other destination.”
“Space station’s been phenomenal, but I would like to take some of the next steps,” she remarked. “I'm not sure if I will last that long, but I'll give it my best.”
This is just the latest in a series of records for Whitson, including first female to command the space station (2008), first female to command it twice (2017), and one other record that you can read about in this photo gallery showcasing some of the more famous female records in space.