World’s oldest female astronaut and the current crew of Expediiton-50 mission, Peggy Whitson’s stay in space got extended for one more quarter than the previously planned timeline. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in an official meet on Wednesday has declared about the extended stay of Whitson in the International Space Station (ISS) until September this year.
NASA, in a formal press meet yesterday, confirmed about the extended stay of Peggy Whitson in the International Space Station (ISS). As said by NASA, the American biochemistry researcher, instead of coming back to earth in June, will remain on the International Space Station until September this year. According to the new agreement, signed between NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Whitson will stay in the ISS for more three months and will be back to earth in a vacant seat on the three-person Soyuz Spacecraft. Russian Space Agency’s made Soyuz spacecraft, carrying the NASA’s Jack Fischer and Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos – crews of Expedition 51/52, will arrive at the International Space Station on 20th April 2017.
The three-seated spaceship will have one vacant seat, which later will be filled by Whitson. In September, Whitson will pack that empty seat and will be an adjunct to Fischer and Yurchikhin to rush back to Earth, NASA said. The 57-year-old astronaut Whitson, as a part of Expedition 50 mission, arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) in November, last year, and was scheduled to return to Earth in June this year. But after the newly signed treaty between NASA and Roscosmos came into effect, the plan changed and, now, she will remain on International Space Station (ISS) for more three months.
Peggy Whitson, with its remarkable journey, is continued to break various records. Recently she became the first female astronomer to take the highest number of spacewalks, outside the ISS and is just a few weeks far from beating the record of NASA astronaut Jeff Williams for spending the maximum time in space, being a U.S. astronaut. As of today, April 56, Whitson has already spent 514 days in the ISS, and soon she will move ahead of Jeff Williams’ record. She is also recorded as the oldest female astronomer to voyage to space as well as the first woman to lead the ISS with Expedition 16 mission. After her fellow NASA astronaut and the current commander of the Expedition 50 – Shane Kimbrough will hand over the position of ISS commander to Whitson on April 9, she will become the first female to command the ISS twice.