Thursday, November 17, 2016

Astronaut About to Set Record as Oldest Woman in Space

November 16, 2016 11:52 PM
Associated Press



“I love working at NASA,” U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson told reporters last summer, “but the part that has been the most satisfying ... has been working on board the space station.” Whitson leaves soon for her third trip to the International Space Station.
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA —

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson is on the verge of becoming the oldest woman in space, adding to her long list of barrier-breaking records.
Whitson will be 56 when she rockets off the planet Thursday. She’ll celebrate her 57th birthday in February on the International Space Station.

That’s a far cry from John Glenn’s space shuttle flight at age 77 and a few years shy of the male runners-up. But it’s enough to beat Barbara Morgan’s record as the world’s oldest spacewoman. Morgan waited so long to fulfill her role as Christa McAuliffe’s teacher-in-space backup that she was 55 when she finally flew in 2007.

This will be the third space station mission for Whitson, an Iowa-born biochemist, and her second stint as commander. She’ll launch from Kazakhstan with two younger men, Russian and French.

“I love working at NASA, but the part that has been the most satisfying on a day-to-day basis, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute, has been working on board the space station,” Whitson told reporters over the summer.

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