After 288 days in space, Peggy set to return to Earth

Muriel Hammond
September 3, 2017

It is reported RIA Novosti with reference to the mission control Center (MCC).

"It's one of the most gratifying jobs I've ever had", Whitson, who is a biochemist, said during an in-flight interview on Monday.

Most of the flight went by quickly, she noted, although the last week has seemed to drag by. A series of parachutes were deployed to slow the spacecraft down about 15 minutes before touchdown, followed by a last-second burn of six soft-landing engines that helped cushion the last few feet of the fall.

But, "I will miss seeing the enchantingly peaceful limb of our Earth from this vantage point. Until the end of my days, my eyes will search the horizon to see that curve".

Whitson is completing a 288 day mission that began in November 2016, spanning 122.2 million miles and 4,623 orbits of Earth.

Whitson was supposed to fly back in June after a half-year in space, but when an extra seat opened up on Soyuz, she jumped at the chance to stay in orbit an extra three months.

Besides duration, Whitson set multiple other records while in orbit: world's oldest spacewoman, at age 57, and most experienced female spacewalker, with 10.

Russians still hold claim to the world's space endurance and spacewalking records.

Record-breaking NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson is set to depart the International Space Station (ISS) and return to Earth after completing a 288-day long mission, the U.S. space agency said.

Whitson earned her doctorate in biochemistry in 1985 and worked for NASA as a scientist for seven years before becoming an astronaut in 1997.

A farm girl from Iowa, Whitson enjoyed growing vegetables on the space station, all part of scientific research, and especially enjoyed sampling some of the results.

She also looked forward to using a regular flushing toilet again, she added. "638 days in space and the view is still unbelievable!" she tweeted.

Russian Fyodor Yurchijin and Americans Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson, members of 52nd expedition to the ISS, landed at 7.21 a.m., near a remote area in Dzhezkazgan, reports Efe news. They will meet up with the plane in Cologne, astronaut headquarters for the European Space Agency. "They will be poised in Karaganda to await the arrival of Whitson and Fischer".

What's next for Whitson? This was her third spaceflight.

Station officials would like nothing better.

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