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NASA Astronaut Sets New Record for Americans in Space
NASA's Peggy Whitson, 57, has broken many records, but now she's spent more time in space than any other American astronaut.
Peggy Whitson, the first woman to command the International Space Station (ISS), on Monday broke the record for the most time accumulated in orbit by an American, surpassing the record of 534 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes set last year by Jeffrey Williams.
She was already the world's most experienced woman astronaut and spacewalker and, at 57, the oldest woman in space. Here's a look back at her barrier-breaking career.
Above: Whitson speaks to President Trump on April 24, 2017, from aboard the ISS as astronaut Jack Fischer looks on.
Women in Charge
While Whitson was commanding the ISS, the space shuttle Discovery, commanded by Pam Melroy, docked at the station, marking the first time both spacecraft had been commanded by women simultaneously.
Above: Whitson poses with Melroy, commander of STS-120, on Oct. 27, 2007, in the Unity node of the ISS.
Fifty Seven Trips Around the Sun
Barbara Morgan held the previous record for world's oldest spacewoman. She was 55 when she flew a space shuttle mission in 2007.
Whitson turned 57 in February while aboard the ISS.
John Glenn set the record for the oldest man in space when he flew aboard the space shuttle at age 77.
Above: Whitson smiles during an examination in Star City outside Moscow on Oct. 25, 2016.
Whitson poses with Expedition 50 commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA, left, and flight engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency prior to the pair's spacewalk on March 24, 2017.
Kimbrough departed the space station on April 10, 2017, and Whitson took on the lead role, making her the first woman to command two space station missions.
Astronaut Peggy Whitson works outside the ISS during her record-breaking eighth spacewalk, the most for a woman, on March 30, 2017.
By the time she returns to Earth in September, Whitson will have logged 666 days in orbit over three flights. The world record — 879 days — is held by Russian Gennady Padalka.