CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s record-breaking astronaut, Peggy Whitson, 58, has retired lower than a yr after coming back from her final and longest spaceflight.
She has spent extra day without work the planet than some other American: 665 days over three area station missions. She’s additionally most skilled feminine spacewalker, with 10 below 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 area. She was additionally the one girl to have served as chief of NASA’s male-dominated astronaut corps. Fellow astronauts name her a ‘‘space ninja.’’
‘‘It’s been the best honor to stay out my lifelong dream of being a @NASA Astronaut,’’ Whitson mentioned through Twitter, thanking ‘‘all who have supported me along the way.’’
‘‘As I reminisce on my many treasured memories, it’s protected to say my journey at NASA has been out of this world!’’
The 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 area: Gennady Padalka holds the report, 879 days over 5 missions.
NASA’s administrator, Jim Bridenstine, known as Whitson an inspiration, citing her dedication to science, exploration, and discovery.
Before leaving the area station in September, Whitson mentioned she would miss the orbiting outpost: ‘‘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.’’