Astronaut Peggy Whitson sets another record, draws White House attention

Guillermo Lane
April 24, 2017

NASA and the Department of Education, on behalf of the White House, are both mobilized "to encourage classrooms throughout America to tune-in" live, when President Trump calls NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson aboard the International Space Station (ISS) this upcoming Monday, to congratulate her as she breaks the American record for most total days in space, besting NASA astronaut Jeff Williams' record of 534 days.

About two and a half hours later, the spacecraft was installed to the orbiting lab's Earth-facing port of the Unity module. It rocketed from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Tuesday with almost 7,700 pounds of food, experiments and other goods.

This supply mission by Orbital ATK is the company's seventh as part of a $1.9 billion contract with NASA.

"We are very proud to welcome on board the S.S. John Glenn", Pesquet said.

This NASA TV handout frame grab shows the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft at the end of the robotic arm at the International Space Station on April 22, 2017.

The arrival of the supply ship capped a busy week at the space station, following the arrival of the Soyuz MS-04 crew ferry ship Thursday carrying commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineer Jack Fischer.

Astronaut Peggy Whitson joined Pesquet at the controls as the spacecraft orbited earth about 250 miles above Germany.

Space station commander Peggy Whitson - who on Monday will set a US record for most accumulated time in orbit - notified Mission Control when S.S. John Glenn was captured.

Whitson also is the first woman to command the space station; she has commanded it twice. She is now the Commander of the ISS crew, making her the first woman to command the space station twice (she also headed the mission during her second six-month stay in 2007-2008).

She is not only the oldest and most experienced astronaut but the oldest and most experienced spacewalker as well.

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