Astronaut Peggy Whitson Breaks The Record For The Most Spacewalks Performed By A Woman

First Posted: Mar 31, 2017 03:30 AM EDT

American astronaut Peggy Whitson, 57, made her eighth career spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday. She surpassed the record of American Suni Williams with seven spacewalks, thus Whitson breaking the record as having the most spacewalks by a woman.

Furthermore, astronaut Peggy Whitson is the first woman commander of the International Space Station and has been in space for 377 days between two missions, according to Gizmodo.

Peggy Whitson and ISS commander Shane Kimbrough began their preparations for the spacewalk at around 8 a.m. EST. The spacewalk aims to adjust a docking port, which will be used as a parking spot for SpaceX and Boeing commercial crew capsules. This will be a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk.

"Be safe and enjoy your time out," French astronaut Thomas Pesquet stated. "I will be waiting for you," he added.

These commercial spaceships are going to arrive in the coming years. SpaceX and Boeing are now conceptualizing crew vehicles to send people to the International Space Station probably in the coming year, according to PRI.

Meanwhile, Sunita L. Williams holds the female record in the past, with 50 hours and 40 minutes spacewalking time. Astronaut Whitson is not only the record holder for most spacewalks by a woman but also the third most experienced spacewalker of all time.

Peggy Whitson is behind Anatoly Solovyev with 68 hours spacewalking time and former astronaut Mike Lopez-Algeria with 67 hours spacewalking time. She will have a total of 59 hours spacewalking after this six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk.

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