Record Setting Astronaut
I honestly do think that it is critical that we are continuously breaking records, because that represents us moving forward in exploration.”
Raised on a farm in Iowa, Dr. Peggy Whitson received her Doctorate from Rice University, before setting out on a career in biochemistry. Her advanced research work led her to NASA and she was hired as a Research Biochemist in 1989. In 1992 she became the project scientist for the Shuttle-Mir program before being selected as an astronaut in 1996. Whitson was chosen for Expedition 5, and spent six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in 2002. She became the first woman to perform a spacewalk from the ISS. Returning to the ISS for Expedition 16 in 2007/2008, and again in 2017 for 289 days on Expedition 51, Whitson served as commander for both missions. She has more time in space than any American and holds the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman and most spacewalks by a woman. Whitson retired from NASA in June 2018.