Record-breaking astronaut Peggy Whitson returns to Earth

At 57, she is the oldest record-breaking female astronaut


After spending 288 days in space, record-shattering NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, 57, has finally come home.

The 288-day mission puts her at the top as the American astronaut who has spent the most amount of time in orbit.

Not only that, Whitson currently holds top spot as the oldest female astronaut in history, the first ever female International Space Station (ISS) commander, and for the most number of spacewalks by a woman.

Her current mission sees her completing a space exploration assignment at the ISS that began in November 2016. Once completed, she would have travelled a cumulative distance of 196.7 million kilometers or roughly around 4,623 orbits of Earth.

Besides working as an astronaut, Whitson is also an accomplished biochemist. On her most reason mission, she conducted experiments with human stem cells, blood samples and even grew several crops of Chinese cabbage – all while in space.

Whitson, along with her crew mates Jack Fischer and Fydor Yurchikhin, has touched down in Kazakhstan on Saturday (2 Sep) and will return to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas shortly after.

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