Iowa native sets space record

The president asked about the experiments being conducted on the station, which Fischer called "by far the best example of global cooperation, and what we can do when we work together, in the history of humanity".

Early Monday morning, Whitson officially broke the NASA record of 534 days in orbit that was set past year by Jeff Williams.

Astronaut Peggy Whitson has broken the U.S. record for most time in space and talked up a trip to Mars during a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump. When Whitson said a Mars trip would likely happen in the 2030s, Trump joked that NASA would have to speed up its timeline to complete the mission, "at worst, during my second term".

"Station, this is your president, do you hear me?" "I'm glad to hear that". The "space ninja", as called by her colleague astronaut Jack Fischer, is also the oldest female spacewalker as well as the oldest female astronaut.

In addition, the record-breaking Whitson has logged more spacewalking time than any other female astronaut. In 2002, she made her first journey to the International Space Station.

"Iowa Wesleyan University congratulates our very own Dr. Peggy Whitson, '81, on her awesome accomplishments as not only the Commander of the International Space Station for the second time, but also as the longest serving astronaut in space".

Whitson said she was proud of the honor but credited the vast crew on Earth for making it possible.

When Whitson repeated her mention of the 2030s - citing space flight's need for "a lot of time and money" - Trump jokingly replied, "Well, we want to try and do it during my first term or, at worst, during my second term".

Russian Gennady Padalka holds the world record of time spent in orbit with 879 days. Last Monday, she did it again by beating NASA's previous longest cumulative time in space record of 534 days.

Furthermore Whitson received a long distance phone call of exuberant congratulations from President Donald Trump, First Daughter Ivanka Trump, and fellow astronaut Kate Rubins direct from the Oval Office in the White House to celebrate the momentous occasion.

"I've been dealing with politicians so much", said Trump.

But before the human race can go past earth's orbit, vast technical challenges have to be overcome.

  • Carolyn Briggs