STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS USED WITH PERMISSION
President Trump called a International Space Station Monday for a videochat watched by thousands of propagandize kids, congratulating commander Peggy Whitson on apropos America’s many gifted wanderer and jokingly earnest to get Americans to Mars “during my initial tenure or, during worst, during my second term.”
Joined by wanderer Kate Rubins and daughter Ivanka Trump during a White House, a boss pronounced Whitson’s record noted “a unequivocally special day in a stately story of American spaceflight.”
“Today, commander Whitson, we have damaged a record for a many sum time space in space by an American astronaut, 534 days and counting,” he said. “That’s an implausible record to break, and on interest of a republic and honestly on interest of a world, I’d like to honour you, that is unequivocally something. How does it feel to have damaged such a vast and vicious record?”
Whitson, creation her third spaceflight and second as commander of a space, pronounced it was “an respect for me to paint all a folks during NASA who make spaceflight probable and who make me environment this record feasible.”
On Monday, around 1:27 a.m. EDT (GMT-5), Whitson became America’s many gifted wanderer when her sum time in space changed past Jeff Williams’ symbol of 534 days dual hours and 48 minutes. When she earnings to Earth Sept. 3, her sum time in space will mount during 666 days, relocating her adult to eighth in a world.
The universe record is hold by cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who has logged 878 days aloft over 5 missions. During a talk with a president, a vast ensign behind Fisher and Whitson said: “Congrats Peggy!! New U.S. High-Time Space Ninja.” Below that a jaunty warning to Padalka: “Check 6 Gennady/here she comes.”
Whitson already is a world’s many gifted womanlike spacewalker with 53 hours and 23 mins of EVA time during 8 spacewalks over her 3 missions. She skeleton to boyant outward again on May 12, operative with newly arrived crewmate Jack Fischer to lift out a accumulation of upkeep tasks.
Assuming that spacewalk runs a designed six-and-a-half hours, her sum for 9 EVAs will be scarcely 60 hours, relocating her adult to third in a universe altogether behind cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev and former wanderer Mike Lopez-Alegria.
“I don’t unequivocally know how we got this lucky!” Whitson pronounced progressing in an talk with CBS News. “It’s been extraordinary to have a opportunities that I’ve had, it’s usually extraordinary to me (how) some loyalty and a lot of tough work paid off during a end. It’s usually unbelievable.”
President Trump asked her “what are we training from carrying we spending your time adult there? we know so many investigate is done. What are we training by being in space?”
“I consider a International Space Station is providing a pivotal overpass from us vital on Earth to going somewhere into low space,” pronounced Whitson, floating beside Fischer in a Destiny laboratory module. “On those Mars missions, we need to know how microgravity is unequivocally inspiring a body, and we need to know it in good detail. So, many of a studies are looking during a tellurian body.”
She pronounced a hire also is assisting engineers exam vicious life support systems that will be indispensable for long-duration voyages to Mars.
“Water is such a changed apparatus adult here that we also are cleaning adult a urine and creation it drinkable,” Whitson said. “And it’s unequivocally not as bad as it sounds!”
“Well that’s good, I’m blissful to hear that,” Trump replied. “Better we than me.”
NASA now is building a outrageous heavy-lift rocket famous as a Space Launch System upholder and a Orion plug to lift astronauts over low-Earth orbit. To get to Mars, those systems will have to be tested on low space missions and a medium procedure of some arrange will have to be developed.
NASA believes it competence be probable to send astronauts on fights to during slightest circuit Mars by a midst 2030s, with landings following during some indicate after that.
President Trump asked Whitson when she suspicion Americans will be prepared for a moody to a red planet.
“It’ll be approximately in a 2030s,” Whitson said. “Unfortunately, spaceflight takes a lot of time and money. So removing there will need some general team-work for it to be a planet-wide proceed in sequence to make it successful. Just since it is a unequivocally costly endeavor. But it is so inestimable doing.”
“Well, we wish to try and do it during my initial tenure or during misfortune during my second term,” Trump joked. “So we’ll have to speed that adult a small bit, OK?”
The boss asked a astronauts about opportunities for entrepreneurs in space, observant “I have many friends that are so vehement about space, they wish to get concerned in space from a standpoint of entrepreneurship and business.”
“Tell us about a opportunities that could exist for a subsequent era of scientists and engineers,” he asked. “What do we consider of a opportunities for immature students wanting to be concerned in space?”
Fischer replied that America’s space module is staid for “an blast of activity” on a blurb space front.
“One thing we adore about American entrepreneurs is once we get them going, we improved mount out of their approach since they’re going to start trucking,” he said. “And we’re about to that point. NASA is holding on that expensive, hard, formidable charge of going over and deeper into space … and afterwards as shortly as we mangle open that door, this implausible infrastructure we’ve been building is going to be right there to collect adult a rod and continue into a stars.”
He told students “the time to get vehement is now.”
“If we aren’t study scholarship and math, we competence wish to consider about that since a destiny in a stars starts now,” he said. “And we can be a partial of that if, like Dr. Whitson, we can find that passion and work unequivocally hard. We’re going find a permanent foothold in a stars for amiability if we do that.”
President Trump sealed out a review by seeking “which one of we is prepared to go to Mars? Are we ready?”
“We are positively prepared to go to Mars,” Whitson said. “It’s going to be a illusory tour removing there and unequivocally sparkling times. All of us would be happy to go. But we wish all a immature people out there to commend that a genuine stairs are going to be taken in a few years. By study math, science, engineering, any kind of technology, you’re going to have a partial in that. And that’ll be unequivocally exciting.”
Whitson grew adult on a plantation in Iowa and went on to acquire a doctorate in biochemistry from Rice University in 1985. She worked as a investigate biochemist for NASA and eventually was comparison as an wanderer in 1996.
She initial flew in space in 2002, drifting to a hire aboard a convey Endeavour and portion for 6 months as a moody operative and scholarship officer, returning to Earth aboard Endeavour after logging 184 days 22 hours and 14 mins in space. She also chalked adult her initial spacewalk, a four-hour 25-minute outing regulating a Russian spacesuit.
Whitson took off on her second moody in Oct 2008, rising from a Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz TMA-11 packet ship. Whitson became a space station’s initial womanlike commander and oversaw a connection of 3 vital modules and a vicious drudge arm attachment.
She also achieved 5 spacewalks during her second goal — pulling her EVA sum to 39 hours and 46 mins — and logged 191 days 17 hours and 9 mins off planet, pulling her accumulative time in space to 376 days 17 hours and 21 minutes.
A year and a half later, Whitson took over as arch of NASA’s wanderer bureau during a Johnson Space Center, a initial female, public wanderer to conduct a office.
But she never gave adult her enterprise to fly in space again and took off on her stream goal on Nov. 17, 2016, fasten Soyuz MS-03 commander Oleg Novitskiy and European Space Agency wanderer Thomas Pesquet. She carried out dual spacewalks, one in Jan and and one in March, pulling her sum to 8 over her 3 missions.
Whitson creatively was scheduled to lapse to Earth Jun 2 with Novitskiy and Pesquet. But Russia recently opted to reduced a organisation element by one to save income and a many new Soyuz launched to a hire usually carried dual organisation members: Fischer and Soyuz MS-05 commander Fyodor Yurchikhin. They arrived Apr 20.
NASA and Roscosmos, a Russian sovereign space agency, recently concluded to extend Whitson’s stay by 3 months to maximize U.S. science. She now skeleton to lapse to Earth Sept. 3 with Yurchikhin and Fischer to tighten out a 289-day flight, pulling her accumulative sum to 666 days.
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