Astronaut breaks US space record
Astronaut breaks US space record President Donald Trump, accompanied by his daughter Ivanka Trump, talks via video conference with International Space Station Commander Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer on the Space Station, Monday, April 24, 2017, from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh/NASA via AP, File)
Astronaut breaks US space record
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Astronaut Peggy Whitson has broken the U.S. record for most time in space. She talked up Mars during a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump.
The International Space Station's commander surpassed the record of 534 days, two hours and 48 minutes. It is the most accumulated time in space by an American.
"This is a very special day in the glorious history of American spaceflight," Trump said on the call April 25. His daughter and close adviser, Ivanka Trump, also offered congratulations to Whitson from the Oval Office.
Whitson said it's "a huge honor" to break such a record. "It's an exciting time" as NASA prepares for human expeditions to Mars in the 2030s, included in new legislation signed by Trump last month. She called the space station "a key bridge" between living on Earth and traveling into deep space. And she singled out the station's recycling system. It transforms astronauts' urine into drinking water.
"It's really not as bad as it sounds," she assured the president.
"Well, that's good. I'm glad to hear that," he replied. "Better you than me."
Whitson was already the world's most experienced spacewoman and female spacewalker. At 57, she is the oldest woman in space. By the time she returns to Earth in September, she'll have logged 666 days in orbit. That total is over three flights.
The world record is 879 days. It is held by Russian Gennady Padalka. Whitson broke the NASA cumulative record set last year by astronaut Jeffrey Williams. Scott Kelly holds the U.S. record for consecutive days in space - 340.
Whitson is also the first woman to command the space station twice. And she is the only woman to have led NASA's astronaut corps. Behind her was a banner that read: "Congrats Peggy!! New U.S. High-Time Space Ninja." The sign arrived on the commercial cargo ship, the S.S. John Glenn.
NASA astronaut Jack Fischer recently arrived at the space station and took part in the phone call with the president. He said the space station is "by far the best example of international cooperation."
Whitson told the president that spaceflight takes a lot of time and money. So getting to Mars will require collaboration from other countries to succeed. NASA is building the hardware right now to test a new rocket that will carry astronauts farther from Earth than ever before, she said.
"Well, we want to try and do it during my first term or, at worst, during my second term, so we'll have to speed that up a little bit, OK?" Trump replied.
"We'll do our best," Whitson replied.
The debut of the mega rocket is still more than a year away, at least. The date will depend on whether astronauts are on board for the test flight, which could hoist the new Orion capsule to the vicinity of the moon.
Both Whitson and Fischer raised a hand when Trump asked which one of them was ready to go to Mars.
Joining Trump in the Oval Office was astronaut Kate Rubins. Last summer, she became the first person in space to perform entire DNA decoding, or sequencing. She said she used a device the size of a cellphone for the job. And she noted that such sequencing can detect microbes aboard spacecraft and monitor astronaut health.
"That's fantastic," Trump said. "I've been dealing with politicians so much. I'm so much more impressed with these people, you have no idea."

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Why is the record “U.S. only?”
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • LCoe-ing
    5/02/2017 - 04:01 p.m.

    The record is "U.S. only" because different countries have different space programs. This record only pertains only to the United States' space program, NASA.

  • KStegall-ing
    5/02/2017 - 04:05 p.m.

    I love this story about the austernauts breaking the us record and how they are doing things to make it better

  • CHatchett-ing
    5/02/2017 - 04:05 p.m.

    This was a good article.

  • AMillang03
    5/03/2017 - 10:57 a.m.

    I have much respect for Astronaut Peggy Whitson for spending many days in orbit. It takes a lot of preparation for going into space. From supplies of survival to hardware.

  • CSparkman03
    5/03/2017 - 10:59 a.m.

    i cant wait untill they go to mars

  • SWoodson17
    5/03/2017 - 12:56 p.m.

    I like this article because it excites me that this article lets me know a women holds the record in most time spent in space. The record is ?.S nly because only the U.S hold the record.

  • deshawnj-bur
    5/03/2017 - 09:07 p.m.

    The article discussed the recent accomplishment of 57-year old astronaut, Peggy Whitson, who broke the U.S. record for the longest time in space. Whitson has spent 666 days in space and has conducted various research projects on the advancement of aeronautical technology. Its also call U.S. record because a Russian named Gennady Padalka holds the world record of 879 days in orbit.

  • stevenk-bur
    5/04/2017 - 01:00 a.m.

    The reason why is because Russia has 879 days in space and we only have 534 days. I always wanted to go to space one day.

  • kelliek-
    5/04/2017 - 08:35 a.m.

    Maybe it's a U.S. record only because it has already been passed in other places but the U.S. is the only place to not pass this record yet.

  • richardk-orv
    5/04/2017 - 11:53 a.m.

    well because trump was only thinking about the U.S. Also the u.s were in space for 534 days.

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