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NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson to return home after 288 days in space

NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson is set to return to Earth from the International Space Station on 2 September 2017, after completing a 288-day mission.

Sep 3, 2017 02:32 IST
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NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson is set to return to Earth from the International Space Station on 2 September 2017, after completing a 288-day mission.

Whitson would be returning with her Expedition 52 crewmates, Nasa’s Jack Fischer and Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. They are scheduled to land in Kazakhstan.

Key Highlights

• Whitson's return will mark the end of her third long-duration stay onboard the space station.

• She had gone up to the station on 17 November 2016, already having an accumulated space time of 377 days.

• On 24 April 2017, Whitson broke former American Astronaut Jeff Williams' standing US record of 534 cumulative days in space.

• At the time of their landing, she will have accrued a total of 665 days in space over the course of her career (3 space missions), which is more than any American astronaut till date.

• The feat would place her at the 8th position on the all-time space endurance list.

• Besides this, Whitson also holds the record for most spacewalks by a female.

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Whitson’s expedition crew members, Yurchikhin and Fischer, who were launched in April 2017, would be completing 136 days in space on their return.

Russia’s Yurchikhin will return to Earth with a total accumulated space time of 673 days over the course of 5 missions. This feat would put him in the 7th place on the all-time endurance list.

A three-person crew including Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA would be manning the International space station until the arrival of three new crew members.

Expedition 53 will begin aboard the station under the command of Randy Bresnik. The three new astronauts who would be joining the existing ones at the station include NASA’s Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba and Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos. They are scheduled to launch on 12 September from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

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