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10 famous female aviators

By: Matt Hickman on April 24, 2017, 9:43 a.m.
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson

Photo: NASA/Wikimedia Commons

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Peggy Whitson

NASA astronaut Peggy A. Whitson, Ph.D., holds several records: At 57 years old, she's the world's oldest spacewoman, and in 2008 she became the first female commander of the International Space Station (ISS). She made her eighth space walk on March 30, 2017 — the most for any woman — and beat the current record for women with 53 hours and 22 minutes of total spacewalking time, the Washington Post reports.

Her more recent accomplishments are drawing even more attention. The Iowa native is currently a flight engineer on Expedition 50/51, which launched on Nov. 17, 2016, and is her third long-duration mission to ISS, according to NASA. On April 24, 2017, she broke the record for the most cumulative time in space (534 days) by an American astronaut, which was previously held by Jeff Williams.

By the time she returns to Earth in September, Whitson will have spent 666 days in floating above the planet. She hopes she won't hold the title for long.