Peggy Whitson is an American biochemist and astronaut. She was the first female commander of the International Space Station (ISS). She was born on February 9, 1960 in Iowa, United States. She received a B.S. in biology and chemistry from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1981 and a doctorate in biochemistry from Rice University in 1985.
She holds various records including the most time spent in space by any American, the most spacewalks of any woman astronaut and the oldest woman to travel into space.
Quick Facts: –
- She married Clarence Sams on May 6, 1989. Whitson Clarence at Rice University where they were both pursuing their doctorates.
- Peggy Whitson started her astronaut training at NASA in August 1996.
- On June 5, 2002, she flew into space for the first time aboard space shuttle Endeavour as a flight engineer.
- She served as the chief of Astronaut Office from 2009 to 2012. This office oversees all astronaut activities by NASA.
- She was a member of the Astronaut Selection Board in 2004 and served as the chair in 2009.
- On October 10, 2007, she traveled to space for the second time as the commander of the Expedition 16 mission.
- Her third flight to the International Space Station was launched on November 17, 2016.
- During her three long duration missions, she spent approximately 666 days in the space.
- In March 2017, she became the oldest women to walk into space. She was 57 years old at that time.