Last month, astronaut Peggy Whitson performed her eighth spacewalk outside the ISS, setting the record for most spacewalks by a woman. Today at 6:27am BST, she made history yet again by breaking astronaut Jeff Williams’ record for cumulative time in space by an American astronaut, which was 534 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes.
Shattering records is pretty standard for Whitson, who was the first female commander of the International Space Station (ISS). Her most recent mission aboard the ISS was extended until September, so once she returns to Earth, Whitson will have logged 650 days in space, setting the bar extremely high for future record-breaking.
“It is one of those rides that you hope never ends,” Whitson tweeted before her big achievement. “I am so grateful for all those who helped me on each of my missions!
— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) April 24, 2017
Many in the space community have joined in to congratulate Whitson on social media, including astronaut Leland Melvin, who worked with her in 2009.
— Leland Melvin (@Astro_Flow) April 24, 2017
All of us here on Earth—and the yet-to-be-discovered microbes in the solar system—are so proud of you, Peggy! Way to go.