As children, we dream of flying an airplane, becoming an engineer or a doctor and so on. Very few students want to think of a career as an astronaut, though the thrill in this career is much more than any other profession the fear restricts the majority of our children to think about a career in astronomy. Choosing this challenging career is itself such a challenge, and the very thought of retiring as an astronaut at the age of about 60, sends shivers up the skin. But there is a magical lady, a real super-woman who has made this story correct. Time and again, females have needed to prove themselves to the society. And some women like Peggy Whitson do set an example for others to follow.
She is a record-breaking astronaut who has just come from her longest and last space flight. Spending a total time of 665 days in the three missions she was a part of, Peggy is a celebrated spacewalker – the most experienced of all women astronauts. She has been the leader and the one to command from International Space Station- the first woman to do so and that too twice. She is also the oldest lady to have boarded a spacecraft and completed a space mission at such an age. In the male-dominated NASA’s astronaut corps, she is the only woman to have served as the chief.
Also known as space ninja, Peggy is a legend for many, inspiration for several and role model for others. This lady has not given up on herself, let alone life. At an age when you are playing the role of being grandparents, anything sporty looks pretentious. Women refrain from going outside or doing various jobs just because they don’t feel young. Even if they want to feel young, the social norms add to her pain by defining the do’s and dont’s she must adhere to. Peggy is not only a Ray of hope for various astronauts but for ladies who are not into a job as challenging as being an astronaut. She has proved that age is just a number, if you wish to feel twenty, you will act twenty, but when this number gets stuck in your head, you are old, older than you look. Her words while retiring from NASA were – ‘It’s been the greatest honor to live out my lifelong dream of being an Astronaut, that too at NASA.’’ She was thanking ‘‘all who have supported me along the way.’’