CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s record-breaking astronaut Peggy Whitson retired Friday, lower than a 12 months after getting back from her final and longest spaceflight.
She’s spent extra day without work the planet than another American: 665 days over three house station missions. She’s additionally the world’s most skilled feminine spacewalker, with 10 beneath her spacesuit belt.
Whitson was the primary girl to command the International Space Station, holding the place twice, and the oldest girl ever to fly in house. She was additionally the one girl to have served as chief of NASA’s male-dominated astronaut corps.
Fellow astronauts referred to as her a “space ninja.”
“It’s been the greatest honor to live out my lifelong dream of being a @NASA Astronaut,” Whitson stated through Twitter, thanking “all who have supported me along the way.”
“As I reminisce on my many treasured memories, it’s safe to say my journey at NASA has been out of this world!”
The 58-year-old biochemist, who grew up on an Iowa hog farm, joined NASA as a researcher in 1986 and have become an astronaut in 1996. Her final spaceflight, spanning 2016 and 2017, lasted near 10 months.
Only Russian males have spent extra time in house: Gennady Padalka holds the document with 879 days over 5 missions.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine referred to as Whitson an inspiration, citing her willpower and dedication to science, exploration and discovery.
“She set the highest standards for human spaceflight operations,” Brian Kelly, director of flight operations at Johnson Space Center in Houston, stated in a press release, “as well as being an outstanding role model for women and men in America and across the globe.”
Before leaving the house station final September, Whitson stated she would miss the orbiting outpost — an “awe-inspiring creation” — and the views from 250 miles up.
“I will miss seeing the enchantingly peaceful limb of our Earth from this vantage point. Until the end of my days, my eyes will search the horizon to see that curve,” she stated.
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