NASA astronaut Dr. Peggy Whitson embarked on her third mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in mid-November. Peggy grew up on a farm in Iowa, and was an active 4-H member. In a recent video produced by NASA and shown on PBS American Graduate Day, Peggy talked about the importance of 4-H in her life and today in the lives of millions of youth; see the interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYWk9v0jKYc .
Peggy has made NASA and space history during her career:
- With her third launch into space for the Expedition 50/51 ISS mission, Peggy
- became the oldest woman in space. She celebrated her 57th birthday aboard the ISS.
- became the first woman to command the ISS twice on April 9, 2017.
- she seized the record for most spacewalks by a female in March of 2017
- surpassed Jeff Williams’ record of 534 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes of cumulative time in space. When she returns to Earth, she’ll have spent more than 650 days in space
- In her first mission, Expedition 5/6 in 2002, she was named NASA’s first Science Officer.
- In her second mission in 2007-08, she became the first woman to command the ISS for Expedition 16.
- After returning from Expedition 16, she became the first woman appointed as chief of the NASA Astronaut Office.
- During her first two missions, Peggy performed six spacewalks, totaling 39 hours and 46 minutes.
While Peggy is in space, NASA and 4-H will release a series of learning activities about how NASA prepares crews to live together in space and how youth can develop these skills for their personal lives and future education and careers. The project will be announced in December 2016 and will become available online in monthly installments on the NASA and NIFA 4-H web sites during January – April 2017.