Peggy Whitson just broke the U.S. record for cumulative days spent in space — and she isn’t set to return to Earth until September. Whitson is also the first woman to command the ISS, has done the most spacewalks as a female astronaut, is the first female chief of the astronaut office and the first woman to become a NASA science officer. She’s a legend.

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Five Times Astronaut Peggy Whitson Made History

On April 24, 2017, NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson established the new record for the most time spent in space by an American astronaut. She’s spent more than 76 weeks of her life floating in microgravity!  It’s not the first time in her career at NASA that Whitson has established new milestones: here are just a few.

First NASA Science Officer

Peggy Whitson was the named the first NASA Science Officer aboard the space station in 2002. The position was created to work with the United States research community to understand and meet the requirements and objectives of each space station experiment.

First Female to Command the Space Station… Twice

Whitson became the first female to command the space station during Expedition 16 in 2008. Then Whitson became the first female to command the station twice during her current mission on April 9, 2017.

First Female Chief of the Astronaut Office

In 2009, Whitson became the first female and first non-pilot to achieve the most senior position for active astronauts, Chief of the Astronaut Office.

Most Spacewalks for a Female

On March 30, 2017, Peggy Whitson broke the record for most spacewalks and most time spent spacewalking for female astronauts. Suni Williams had previously held the record at 7 spacewalks.

Most Time In Space By A NASA Astronaut

At 1:27 a.m. ET on April 24, Peggy Whitson set the new record for cumulative time spent in space by an American astronaut. Jeff Williams previously set the record in 2016.

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NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson becomes first woman to command ISS twice

  • NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson achieved a new milestone at the International Space Station on Sunday, when she became the first woman to command the ISS twice.
  • Whitson is replacing astronaut Robert Shane Kimbrough, who will depart the space station Monday.
  • “Up here we don’t wear shoes, but Shane is leaving me some pretty big socks to fill,” Whitson said during a live broadcast as she assumed her new position. Read more. (4/9/2017 3:40 PM)
Expedition 52 Begins Aboard Space Station

When humans launch to the International Space Station, they are members of expeditions. An expedition is long duration stay on the space station. The first expedition started when the crew docked to the station on Nov. 2, 2000.

Expedition 52 began in June 2017 aboard the orbiting laboratory and will end in September 2017. 

FUN FACT: Each Expedition begins with the undocking of the spacecraft carrying the departing crew from the previous Expedition. So Expedition 52 began with the undocking of the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft that brought Expedition 51 crew members Oleg Novitskiy and Thomas Pesquet back to Earth, leaving NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer and Roscosmos cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin aboard the station to await the arrival of the rest of the Expedition 52 crew in July.

This expedition includes dozens of out of this world science investigations and a crew that takes #SquadGoals to a whole new level. 

Take a look below to get to know the crew members and some of the science that will occur during the space station’s 52nd expedition.


Fyodor Yurchikhin (Roscosmos) – Commander

Born: Batumi, Adjar ASSR, Georgian SSR
Interests: collecting stamps and space logos, sports, history of cosmonautics and reading
Spaceflights: STS-112, Exps. 15, 24/25, 36/37, 51
Bio: https://go.nasa.gov/2o9PO9F 

Jack Fischer (NASA) – Flight Engineer

Born:  Louisville, Colorado.
Interests: spending time with my family, flying, camping, traveling and construction
Spaceflights: Expedition 51
Twitter: @Astro2Fish
Bio: https://go.nasa.gov/2o9FY7o

Peggy Whitson (NASA) – Flight Engineer

Born: Mount Ayr, Iowa
Interests: weightlifting, biking, basketball and water skiing
Spaceflights: STS-111, STS – 113, Exps. 5, 16, 50, 51, 52
Twitter: @AstroPeggy
Bio:  https://go.nasa.gov/2rpL58x

Randolph Bresnik (NASA) – Flight Engineer

Born: Fort Knox, Kentucky
Interests: travel, music, photography, weight training, sports, scuba diving, motorcycling, and flying warbirds
Spaceflights: STS-129 and STS-135
Twitter: @AstroKomrade
Bio: https://go.nasa.gov/2rq5Ssm

Sergey Ryazanskiy (Roscosmos) – Flight Engineer

Born: Moscow, Soviet Union
Interests: Numismatics, playing the guitar, tourism, sport games
Spaceflights: Exps. 37/38
Twitter: @Ryazanskiy_ISS
Bio: https://go.nasa.gov/2rpXfOK

Paolo Nespoli (ESA) – Flight Engineer

Born: Milan, Italy
Interests: scuba diving, piloting aircraft, assembling computer hardware, electronic equipment and computer software
Spaceflights: STS-120, Exps. 26/27
Bio: https://go.nasa.gov/2rq0tlk

What will the crew be doing during Expedition 52?

In addition to one tentatively planned spacewalk, crew members will conduct scientific investigations that will demonstrate more efficient solar arrays, study the physics of neutron stars, study a new drug to fight osteoporosis and study the adverse effects of prolonged exposure to microgravity on the heart.

Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA)

Solar panels are an efficient way to generate power, but they can be delicate and large when used to power a spacecraft or satellites. They are often tightly stowed for launch and then must be unfolded when the spacecraft reaches orbit.

The Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA), is a solar panel concept that is lighter and stores more compactly for launch than the rigid solar panels currently in use. ROSA has solar cells on a flexible blanket and a framework that rolls out like a tape measure.  

Neutron Star Interior Composition Explored (NICER)

Neutron stars, the glowing cinders left behind when massive stars explode as supernovas, are the densest objects in the universe, and contain exotic states of matter that are impossible to replicate in any ground lab.

The Neutron Star Interior Composition Explored (NICER) payload, affixed to the exterior of the space station, studies the physics of these stars, providing new insight into their nature and behavior.

Systemic Therapy of NELL-1 for Osteoporosis (Rodent Research-5)

When people and animals spend extended periods of time in space, they experience bone density loss. The Systemic Therapy of NELL-1 for osteoporosis (Rodent Research-5) investigation tests a new drug that can both rebuild bone and block further bone loss, improving health for crew members.

Fruit Fly Lab-02

Exposure to reduced gravity environments can result in cardiovascular changes such as fluid shifts, changes in total blood volume, heartbeat and heart rhythm irregularities, and diminished aerobic capacity. The Fruit Fly Lab-02 study will use the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) to better understand the underlying mechanisms responsible for the adverse effects of prolonged exposure to microgravity on the heart.

Watch their progress HERE!

Expedition 52 Mission Patch 

Our planet is shown surrounded by an imaginary constellation shaped like a house, depicting the theme of the patch: “The Earth is our home.” It is our precious cradle, to be preserved for all future generations. The house of stars just touches the Moon, acknowledging the first steps we have already taken there, while Mars is not far away, just beyond the International Space Station, symbolized by the Roman numeral “LII,” signifying the expedition number. 

The planets Saturn and Jupiter, seen orbiting farther away, symbolize humanity’s exploration of deeper space, which will begin soon. A small Sputnik is seen circling the Earth on the same orbit with the space station, bridging the beginning of our cosmic quest till now: Expedition 52 will launch in 2017, sixty years after that first satellite. Two groups of crew names signify the pair of Soyuz vehicles that will launch the astronauts of Expedition 52 to the Station. 

Click here for more details about the expedition and follow @ISS_Research on Twitter to stay up to date on the science happening aboard YOUR orbiting laboratory!

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Today an astronaut broke the record of for the most cumulative time spent in space by an American! Earlier this morning, astronaut Peggy Whitson broke Jeff Williams’ record with her total being 534 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes. She was also the first woman to become commander of the ISS (International Space Station) and completed the most spacewalks performed by any woman, having done her eighth one last month. She also happens to be our Monday motivation!

[Image via  Peggy Whitson/NASA Johnson via Flickr]


This is a remarkable achievement, and she’s not even close to being done yet:

Nearly 15 years after her first space launch, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has now spent more time off-planet than any other American, at more than 534 days. Whitson, 57, is a biochemist who has twice commanded the International Space Station.

Her current ride will last for at least another five months, due to an extension of Whitson’s mission that’s projected to leave her with more than 650 days in space, NASA says.

Literally and figuratively, it’s been a long journey for Whitson since she started work at NASA in the 1980s. Back then, she was a researcher who supported space missions from the ground. She was named project scientist of the Shuttle-Mir Program in 1992. Four years later, she was selected as an astronaut, and in 2002, she made her first trip to the International Space Station.

Follow her on Twitter here.

It’s a long ways down. This is a view from the vantage point of astronaut Shane Kimbrough during his spacewalk last Friday outside the International Space Station. Shane posted this photo and wrote, “ View of our spectacular planet (and my boots) during the #spacewalk yesterday with @Thom_astro.” During the spacewalk with Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet of ESA, which lasted just over six-and-a-half hours, the two astronauts successfully disconnected cables and electrical connections to prepare for its robotic move Sunday, March 26.

Two astronauts will venture outside the space station again this Thursday, March 30 for the second of three spacewalks. Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson will begin spacewalk preparation live on NASA Television starting at 6:30 a.m. EST, with activities beginning around 8 a.m. Watch live online here.

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Astronaut Peggy Whitson Sets New NASA Record For Most Days In Space
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here’s an art

Created by Hillary White. Posted by upperplayground.

here’s your monday motivation

Posted by topherchris.

here’s something to consider

here’s a gif

Posted by BlazePress.

[toph daily archive]

Friday Stroll? How About a Spacewalk?

On Friday, May 12, NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer will venture outside the International Space Station, into the vacuum of space, for a spacewalk.

Space Fact: This will be the 200th spacewalk performed on the space station!

You can watch their entire 6.5 hour spacewalk live online! (Viewing info below!) To tell the two astronauts apart in their bulky spacewalk suits, Whitson will be wearing the suit with red stripes, while Jack Fischer will have white stripes.

Space Fact: The first-ever spacewalk on the International Space Station was performed on Dec. 7, 1998.

For Peggy, this will be her ninth spacewalk! She actually holds the record for most spacewalks by a female astronaut. For Fischer, this is his first time in space, and will be his first spacewalk. You can see from the below Tweet, he’s pretty excited!

Once both astronauts venture outside the Quest airlock, their tasks will focus on:

  1. Replacing a large avionic box that supplies electricity and data connections to the science experiments
  2. Replacing hardware stored outside the station

Specifically, the ExPRESS Carrier Avionics, or ExPCA will be replaced with a unit delivered to the station last month aboard the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spacecraft.

Ever wonder how astronauts prepare and practice for these activities? Think about it, wearing a bulky spacesuit (with gloves!), floating in the vacuum of space, PLUS you have to perform complex tasks for a period of ~6.5 hours! 

In order to train on Earth, astronauts complete tasks in our Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL). It’s a gigantic pool with a full mock up of the International Space Station! Here’s a clip of astronauts practicing to install the ExPCA in that practice pool at Johnson Space Center in Houston. 

In addition, Whitson and Fischer will install a connector that will route data to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and help the crew determine the most efficient way to conduct future maintenance on the cosmic ray detector.

The astronauts will also install a protective shield on the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3, which was moved in March. This adapter will host a new international docking port for the arrival of commercial crew spacecraft.

Finally, the duo will rig a new high-definition camera and pair of wireless antennas to the exterior of the outpost.

Watch the Spacewalk Live!

Live coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m. EDT, with spacewalk activities starting at 8 a.m. EDT. 

Stream the entire spacewalk live online at nasa.gov/live 


Watch live on the International Space Station Facebook page starting at 7:00 a.m. EDT

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ISS robotic operations, spacewalk, further prepares laboratory for commercial vehicles.

Building on the work completed by spacewalking astronauts March 26, ISS mission controllers robotically relocated Pressurised Mating Adapter 3 to prepare for the arrival of commercial crew spacecraft March 26. 

Using the station’s Canadarm 2, PMA-3 was detached from the Tranquillity module - where it has been located since 2010 - and moved to upper berthing port of the Harmony module. 

A second spacewalk made by Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson April 30 connected the adapter’s umbilical cables to the Harmony module completing PMA-3′s installation. Known as EVA-41 in the US’s EVA manifest, it was the 199th spacewalk conducted for ISS assembly and maintenance.

While the astronauts were installing micrometeroid shields to the now-vacant berthing port on Tranquillity, one of the four shields floated away forcing the spacewalking astronauts to use a now-unneeded thermal shield from the PMA.

During this time Whitson became the most experienced female spacewalker, ultimately logging more than 53 hours and 22 minutes outside a spacecraft when the EVA officially ended.

Diagram showing the location of PMA-3 before and after its relocation March 26.

Since 2015 the International Space Station has been undergoing reconfiguring to allow for the impending arrival of two U.S. commercial crew vehicles. May of 2015 saw the relocation of the Permanent Multipurpose Module from the Unity module to Tranquility, freeing up an additional berthing space for commercial cargo vehicles.

A second International Docking Adapter is set to arrive at the orbiting laboratory in 2018 and will be attached to PMA-3. The first docking adapter, IDA-2, is currently attached to PMA-2 also on the Harmony module. The International Docking Adapter acts as an interface between the older APAS-95 docking system installed on the PMA’s and the newer NASA Docking System that future commercial crew vehicles will be outfitted with.

Reconfiguring the US Orbital Segment is the largest external modifications made to the International Space Station since its assembly was completed in 2011.

Below, the configuration of the station’s Harmony module in 2018, showing both Pressurized Mating Adapters and International Docking Adapters. PMA-3 was relocated to the module March 26. IDA-3 is scheduled to arrive at the complex in 2018.


@ agent carter fandom, guess where my mind went first??? Is is strange yet satisfying fic time????

But seriously, in case you haven’t heard, today is the day that Peggy Whitson broke the record for most days spent in space by an American! She also holds the record for most space walks done by a woman, the oldest woman in space, and the only woman who has commanded the space station twice.

She’s a wonderful, goofy, sweet lady, and I love her for breaking so many barriers and being who she is.