Peggy Whitson, American astronaut who remains at International Space Station since November 19, 2016, will stay in space for another three months to finish all scientific experiments started during Expedition 50.
Probably after opening hatch of Soyuz MS-03 and entering ISS through Rassvet docking port, she did not expect that her mission will be extended for another 3 months. NASA announced officially, that Whitson will stay inside ISS for additional 90 days. It means that one seat inside Soyuz MS-03 will remain empty – two other seats will be occupied by commander Oleg Novitskiy and flight engineer Thomas Pesquet. Duo will leave ISS probably on 2nd June 2017. Peggy Whitson will stay with Jack Fischer and Fyodor Yurchikhin (Roscosmos); she will return on Earth with them on September 3.
Peggy Whitson already got two world records – as oldest woman in space (she was 56 when she reached ISS in 2016) and as woman with longest cumulated time in spacewalks. Now she has a chance to grab another two – for female astronaut with longest single flight and for longest cumulated time in space among all NASA astronauts. Peggy Whitson will take record from Samantha Cristoferetti who managed to spent inside ISS 199 days in 2014/2015 . Peggy Whitson will spend at least 288 days inside the Station. Whitson will also break record of cumulated time in space set by NASA astronaut. On 24th April Peggy Whitson will grab record set by Jeff Williams who spend in space in total 534 days. Peggy Whitson started Expedition 50 with 377 days in space will add another 288 days and in this way she will set new record for NASA astronaut: 665 days.