The Denver Post

RECORD-BREAKING ASTRONAUT RETIRES

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FLA.» NASA’s record-breaking CAPE CANAVERAL, astronaut, Peggy Whitson, retired Friday less than a year after returning from her last and longest spacefligh­t.

She has spent more time off the planet than any other American: 665 days over three space station missions.

She is also the world’s most experience­d female spacewalke­r, with 10 under her spacesuit belt.

Whitson was the first woman to command the Internatio­nal Space Station, holding the position twice, and the oldest woman ever to fly in space. She was also the only woman to have served as chief of NASA’s male-dominated astronaut corps.

Fellow astronauts called her a “space ninja.”

“It’s been the greatest honor to live out my lifelong dream of being a @NASA Astronaut,” Whitson tweeted, thanking “all who have supported me along the way.”

“As I reminisce on my many treasured memories, it’s safe to say my journey at NASA has been out of this world!”

The 58-year-old biochemist, who grew up on an Iowa hog farm, joined NASA as a researcher in 1986 and became an astronaut in 1996. Her last spacefligh­t, spanning 2016 and 2017, lasted close to 10 months.

Only Russian men have spent more time in space: Gennady Padalka holds the record with 879 days over five missions.

NASA officials called Whitson an inspiratio­n, citing her determinat­ion and dedication to science, exploratio­n and discovery.

 ?? NASA ?? Peggy Whitson, shown in the Internatio­nal Space Station, has retired from astronaut duty.
NASA Peggy Whitson, shown in the Internatio­nal Space Station, has retired from astronaut duty.

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