American Astronaut Peggy Whitson returned to Earth after having spent 288 days on the International Space Station (ISS), becoming the first woman to spend the longest time in space, with 665 days in total over several missions.
The astronaut, head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), arrived on Earth aboard the Russian Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft in the company of Russian cosmonaut Fiódor Yurchijin and American astronaut Jack Fisher.
The Russian Federation Flight Control Center reported that the Soyuz MS-04 capsule with three IEE crew members landed successfully in the Kazakh steppe at 01:22 GMT, two seconds ahead of schedule, according to reports from the Russian news agencies Itar-tass and Sputnik.
In addition to breaking the record for being the world’s longest-living woman in space, with 665 days off the planet, Whitson has also spent more time in space than any other American, and is the world’s oldest female astronaut, with 57 years.
The American biochemical researcher is also the astronaut with more space walks, 10 in total, has traveled 196.7 billion kilometers and has given 4,163 laps around the Earth.
Peggy Whitson also became the first woman to command the IEE twice after her most recent takeoff in space on November 17, 2016.
After her successful landing, the crew was undergoing a routine medical checkup, and then Whitson received a bunch of flowers with the phrase “Welcome back, Peggy.”
Russian cosmonaut Fiódor Yurchijin and American astronaut Jack Fisher returned to Earth after spending a total of 136 days in space.
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The next takeoff of the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft with three crew members is scheduled for September 13 from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.
The new expedition will be composed of Russian cosmonaut Alexandr Miskurin and NASA astronauts Vande Hei and Joseph Acab.
Meanwhile, Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), the American Randy Bresnik of NASA and the Italian Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency (ESA) remain in the International Space Station (ISS).