So finally the record breaking astronaut, Peggy Whitson has returned to Earth after spending 665 days off the planet, 288 days on this mission alone. Their Soyuz capsule landed in Kazakhstan shortly after sunrise on Sunday.
After reaching Earth, she was immediately received a pair of sunglasses to put on. She rested in a chair on the barren, wind-swept Kazak steppes. Medical personnel took her pulse, and then she received a bouquet of flowers with the greeting, “Welcome back, Peggy.”
Whitson’s time duration has become the newest record now. Besides this, she also set multiple other records while in orbit, like –
- World’s oldest spacewoman, at age 57.
- Most experienced female spacewalker, with 10.
- First woman to command the space station twice following her launch last November.
NASA is proud to have astronauts like Peggy. Back in space, before retreating into their Soyuz, Peggy Whitson and her fellow astronauts Whitson, Yurchikhin and Fischer received an emotional farewell to the space station.
“We are in your debt for the supreme dedication that you have to the human mission of exploration,” said station’s newest commander, Randy Bresnik on the eve of their departure. He offered up special praise for Whitson – “American space ninja”, and wished them the very best for their future.