U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson is smashing records left and right.
Whitson, 57, broke the record for the most cumulative time in space by an American astronaut early Monday, streaking past the 534-day record previously held by Jeff Williams. The 879-day global record, held by Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, still stands.
By the time Whitson returns to Earth in September, she will have spent 666 days in space. She hopes she won’t hold the title for long.
“I’m not here because of the record,” Whitson told ABC News’ David Kerley via video teleconference from aboard the International Space Station earlier this month. “I’m definitely here for conducting the science.”
Scott Kelly: Travel to Mars ‘Clearly Doable’
Whitson said the research she’s doing is “a really important stepping stone” to sending astronauts on even longer missions to Mars — “the sooner the better.”
“We still have some …
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