Friday, 22 September, 2017

Astronaut Peggy Whitson to return to Earth

Space superwoman returning to Earth with records galore WHITSON TO RETURN FROM SPACE STATION
Garry Little | 03 September, 2017, 08:11

The de-orbiting burn will start around 5 pm Pacific, with the landing taking place at 6:22 pm Pacific time (or Sunday at 7:22 am where she'll land in Kazakhstan).

Peggy Whitson has been living in space since November, clocking up 288 days.

Moreover, she is the only American astronaut who will have accrued a total of 665 days in space over the course of her career, achieving the eighth rank on the alltime space endurance list. The crew is also set to go through a standard post-flight medical evaluations.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who holds the record for maximum time spent in space by any American astronaut, is set to return to Earth on Saturday, completing a 288-day mission at the International Space Station.

According to NASA, the U.S. record she set in April leaves her eighth on the Russian-dominated all-time space endurance list, just behind Yurchikhin who has now logged 673 days.

On this most recent mission, Whitson conducted experiments with human stem cells, blood samples and grew several crops of Chinese cabbage, according to posts on her Facebook page.

Whitson and her fellow Expedition 52 Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos will be returning to Earth after undocking their Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft from the ISS.

Returning cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin logged even more time in space: 673 days over five missions.

"Because of the after-effects of Hurricane Harvey, the NASA Gulfstream jet was unable to leave Houston in time to make it to the staging city of Karaganda in order to perform what is called a "direct return" of the crew back to Houston", Navias said Saturday morning as the crewmembers said farewell to their colleagues in space.

NASA space champ Peggy Whitson is on her way back to Earth to wrap up a record-breaking flight.

She checked out of the International Space Station just hours earlier, along with another American and a Russian.

Fischer and Yurchikhin had been aboard the ISS since June.

Her crewmates include Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Mission Control had, however, remained operational during and following the storm, NASA added. Also headed home is Jack Fischer, with 136 days aloft.

The crew remaining on board the ISS on its 53rd expedition comprises Randy Bresnik of NASA in command, and Sergey Ryazanskiy of Russia's Roscosmos agency and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency.

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