Astronaut breaks US space record, gets call from Trump

AP Aerospace Author

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Astronaut Peggy Whitson broke the U.S. report Monday for many time in area and talked up Mars throughout a congratulatory name from President Donald Trump.

The Worldwide Area Station’s commander surpassed the document of 534 days, two hours and forty eight minutes for many amassed time in area by an American.

“This can be a very big day within the superb historical past of American spaceflight,” Trump stated. His daughter Ivanka additionally provided congratulations to Whitson from the Oval Workplace.

Whitson stated it is “an enormous honor” to interrupt such a report. “It is an thrilling time” as NASA prepares for human expeditions to Mars within the 2030s, included in new laws signed by Trump final month. She referred to as the area station “a key bridge” between dwelling on Earth and touring into deep area, and she or he singled out the station’s recycling system that transforms astronauts’ urine into consuming water.

“It is actually not as dangerous because it sounds,” she assured the president.

“Properly, that is good, I am glad to listen to that,” he replied. “Higher you than me.”

Whitson already was the world’s most skilled spacewoman and feminine spacewalker and, at fifty seven, the oldest lady in area. By the point she returns to Earth in September, she’ll have logged 666 days in orbit over three flights.

The world report – 879 days – is held by Russian Gennady Padalka. Whitson broke the NASA cumulative document set final yr by astronaut Jeffrey Williams; Scott Kelly holds the U.S. report for consecutive days in area – 340.

Whitson can also be the primary lady to command the area station twice and the one lady to have led NASA’s astronaut corps. Behind her was a banner that learn: “Congrats Peggy!! New U.S. Excessive-Time Area Ninja.” The signal arrived Saturday on the business cargo ship, the S.S. John Glenn – barely in time for Monday’s celebration.

NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, who arrived on the area station final week and took half in Monday’s name, stated the area station is “by far one of the best instance of worldwide cooperation.”

Whitson informed the president that spaceflight takes a variety of money and time, so attending to Mars would require collaboration from different nations to succeed. NASA is constructing the hardware proper now to check a brand new rocket that may carry astronauts farther from…

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