Peggy Whitson Becomes The First Two-Time Female Commander Of The International Space Station

For veteran astronaut Peggy Whitson, 2017 is another record-breaking year.

In January, Whitson became the oldest woman to carry out a spacewalk, after becoming the oldest woman to enter space just two months before.

Then in March, she set the record for the most time spent spacewalking by a female astronaut.

Now, the 57-year-old can lay claim to another title: on Sunday she became the first two-time female commander of the International Space Station.

As the outgoing ISS commander Shane Kimborough handed over control, Whitson said: “Well up here we don’t wear shoes, but Shane is leaving some pretty big socks for me to fill.”

But Whitson’s record-breaking streak doesn’t stop there.

On 24 April, she will have spent 535 days in space, more than any other American. The record is currently held by NASA’s Jeff Williams. 

Her latest stint on the ISS was due to end on 2 June, but Whitson is now set to stay until September as Russia reduces the number of cosmonauts on the ISS from three to two.

When she departs the station, Whitson will have clocked 665 days in orbit. The all-time record, 878 days, is held by Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka.

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