Apr 12, 2017 11:04 AM EDT
Peggy Whitson Takes Command of the International Space Station for the Second Time [Video]
Peggy Whitson was named as commander of the International Space Station effective April 9. She was taking over command from U.S. Commander Shane Kimbrough who would return to Earth.
This will be the second time that she will take charge of the $100 billion dollar international space station. Her first appointment was on 2007, making her the first two-time female commander of ISS. She had spent the longest time in space and the longest time spacewalking, AOL reported.
Peggy Whitson started as a researcher at the John Space Center in Houston, Texas. She was selected for astronaut in 1996. She had to complete two-year training for astronauts. Whitson had experienced living underwater as commander of the NEEMO 5 mission.
From 2003 to 2005, she worked as deputy officer of the Astronaut Office and later, as Chief of Operations Branch. Her first space flight was in 2002 as part of Expedition 5. She stayed in the International Space Station for 6 months. During her stay, she conducted studies on human life sciences and microgravity sciences.
Her second space flight was on October 10, 2007. She was sent to another mission and this time, she was made ISS commander. During her stint, she did spacewalks to do some maintenance work on the ISS.
On November 10, 2016, she was sent on another expedition and did more spacewalks doing maintenance work for the ISS. Her stay was extended for another three months in order to serve as commander of the space station.
Whitson's extended stay would leave 6 astronauts manning the space station and conducting experiments. To Peggy Whitson, working in space has been a source of joy. To her, the time working aboard the space station is her greatest contribution, NASA reported.
Whitson is a biochemist by profession and had conducted research in the space station as well. NASA considered her stay as beneficial to the agency's technology development, research, and commercial and international partner communities,
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