In the photo of December 3, 2016, astronaut Peggy Whitson poses in the ISS dome with the Earth in the background. June 15, 2018 NASA announced that 58-year-old Whitson is retiring
NASA astronaut record holder Peggy Whitson is retiring. The space agency announced this on June 15th on its last day of operation.
Whitson spent more time off the planet than any other American: 665 days for three missions. She became the first woman commanding the ISS, occupying this position twice, and the oldest woman ever to fly into space. She also managed to get the title of the most experienced woman in space and the first woman who served as the main astronaut of NASA.
Among her, they even nicknamed her “space ninja”. The 58-year-old biochemist joined NASA as a researcher in 1986 and became an astronaut in 1996. The last space flight completed in 2017, and it lasted almost 10 months. Only Russian cosmonauts exceed it in duration of their stay in space. Gennady Padalka holds a record of 879 days for 5 missions.
NASA administrator Jim Brydenstein called Whitson the inspiration, citing her determination and dedication to science, exploration and discovery. She set the highest standards for manned space flight, becoming a role model around the world.
Before leaving the space station in September 2017, Whitson said she would miss the orbital outpost.