Oldest Female astronaut Peggy Whitson returns to Earth

Oldest Female astronaut Peggy Whitson returns to Earth

American astronaut Peggy Whitson landed on Earth in Kazakhstan after a 288 day stay aboard the International Space station (ISS) in her Soyuz capsule along with commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineer Jack Fischer. She is returning with a number of records, one also being for the only American to stay off the planet for so long.

Russian recovery crews, along with NASA flight surgeons and support personnel, quickly reached the spacecraft to help the returning crew members out of the cramped descent module as they begin their re-adjustment to the unfamiliar tug of gravity. (akipress.com)

Because of the effects of Hurricane Harvey, NASA could not get its plane from Houston to Kazakhstan in time for the crew's landing. Instead, the European Space Agency offered to transport Whitson and Fischer to Cologne, Germany, where they will meet up with the NASA plane for the final leg of their journey. They should be back in Houston on Sunday night.

Peggy Whitson was the last to be carried from the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. She was immediately given a pair of sunglasses to put on. Medical personnel took her pulse, which is a standard practice. She then received a bouquet of flowers with the greeting, "Welcome back, Peggy." Whitson spent 288 days alone in space on this mission, boosting her all-time tally to 665 days aloft which is a record for NASA and a world record for women.

Whitson had arrived to the ISS on November 17, 2016 and spent nearly one year on the orbit. Yurchikhin and Fischer arrived to the ISS on April 20, 2017, and their mission lasted 135 days. (akipress.com)

A new for ISS crew will be leaving next week. The ISS crew will comprise Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky, NASA astronaut Randolph Bresnik and ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli. They are to be joined by Russia's Aleksandr Misurkin, and NASA's Mark Vande Hei and Joseph Acaba, whose Soyuz MS-06 is due to blast off on September 13, 2017.

Records and Research

After returning from her third space flight, Peggy Whitson has named many records to herself. Whitson, 57 has became the world's oldest spacewoman and most experienced female spacewalker following her launch last November. She also was the first woman to command the space station twice.

The female astronaut has completed the mission successfully, covering 122.2 million miles (196.7 million kilometers) and 4,623 orbits of Earth. (firstpost.com)

She is also eighth on the all-time space endurance list, according to NASA.(firstpost.com)

Whitson, a biochemist, set a breakneck pace on all three of her space station expeditions, continually asking for more scientific research to do. Scientists on the ground said it often was hard to keep up with her. She even experimented on food up there, trying to add some pizzas to the standard freeze-dried meals. (indianexpress.com)

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