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Space Station Records

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American Astronaut Peggy Whitson spent 665 Days away from Earth which is the most that any other American astronaut ever stayed. This meant 665 days without delicious food (such as pizza) and flushable toilets.   She also broke several records.  She broke the record for an “American Astronaut´s  time in space” in April on her 534th day in orbit.  President Trump called her to say congratulations and they also discussed the timetable for sending people to Mars. In addition, she broke the record for “world’s oldest female astronaut”  (57 years old);   “most experienced spacewalker”  (ten spacewalks); “the first woman to have commanded the space station twice,” and “the longest single spaceflight by a woman of any nationality.”   

Whitson was supposed to return home in June,  but when she heard an extra seat had opened on the Soyuz MS-04, she took the chance of staying in orbit for an extra three months.   Although Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin from Russia returned with Whitson, he spent eight more days than Whitson over the course of five flights, for a total of 673 days.  “This may be my last spaceflight,”  Whitson says, but she sees herself continuing to work on space programs.  What she will be missing the most is being able to float freely and moving with the lightest of touch.

American Astronaut Jack Fischer was also aboard on this latest mission and spent 136 days in space.  Whitson and Fischer contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science.  Their work included research for something that could increase the effectiveness of drugs for cancer treatments (chemotherapy).  Also, their work included looking into changes in an environment with little gravity.  

        Whitson landed on the solid ground on September 3, 2017.    She is now enjoying life on Earth with delicious food (like pizza) and flushable toilets!  

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