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NASA's Peggy Whitson Becomes the Oldest Female Astronaut to Reach the ISS

Nov 20, 2016 10:34 AM EST
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The 57-year old NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson is now the oldest female astronaut to reach the International Space Station (ISS).
(Photo : Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

It is not surprising to witness astronauts performing duties in space set world records due to the nature of their job, but one female astronaut just set a not-so-typical world record as she becomes the oldest female astronaut to arrive on the International Space Station (ISS).

The 57-year old Peggy Whitson is now the oldest female astronaut to reach the ISS as the new batch of crew reached the space station carried by the Soyuz rocket last week. With Whitson during the flight are Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet who's on his first mission to the ISS.

After their two-day travel, Whitson, and the others are now safely in the ISS, with Whitson carrying a new world record under her belt. She had beaten former record set by Barbara Morgan who reached the ISS at age 55 as the oldest female astronaut to reach the space station.

A few days before the launch, Whitson was even seen preparing at the launch pad. And as a female astronaut, some hygienic practices should not be compromised especially if a lady is going away for months at a time.

"Getting my station haircut today. Hope it will last 3 months. Who will cut my hair next time on @Space_Station?", astronaut Peggy Whitson said in a Tweet. 

Despite her near senior age, Whitson believes that it will serve as her advantage in performing astronaut duties inside the space station. "All right, yes, I'm old," NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson said in an interview. But it will be an advantage since she already knew what to expect and the urgency of different tasks when inside the ISS.

Whitson, who first served a duty on the space station in 2012 had already devoted a total of 377 days in space. She also has a history of performing successful spacewalks during her younger years.

But aside from being the oldest female astronaut to reach the ISS, Whitson is also expected to break other world records throughout this expedition including the longest time spent in space, a record currently held by NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams with 534 days under his belt.

Whitson is expected to return to Earth this May and other than breaking more records, her dream is to be able to witness a successful mission to Mars in her lifetime.


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