Record-breaking astronaut Peggy Whitson set to return to Earth

Posted September 03, 2017

They successfully touched down on target in a remote area near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson was the last to be carried from the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

While living and working aboard the space station, the Expedition 52 crew pursued hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanitys only orbiting laboratory, NASA said.

While she holds the record as the American with most days off the planet, she's eighth on the worldwide list which is dominated by Russians. Also headed home is Jack Fischer, with 136 days aloft.

The US astronauts are based in Houston, which is dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the widespread flooding left in its wake.

Wrapping up a record-setting flight, Peggy Whitson, America's most experienced astronaut with almost two years of time in orbit across three missions, returned to Earth Saturday after a 288-day stay aboard the International Space Station, landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan with Soyuz MS-04 commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineer Jack Fischer.

"The European Space Agency stepped up to the plate and offered the use of its plane that has been to Karaganda before", Navias said.

The space station's crew normally is evenly split between the Russians and the USA segment, with three cosmonauts and three astronauts representing NASA, ESA, Japan and Canada. She became the world's oldest spacewoman and most experienced female spacewalker following her launch last November. "For example, in order to keep mission control running, the team (three shifts of a skeleton support crew) were sleeping on cots in the backup mission control rooms".

"When you think about the days of training that it takes for every single day here in orbit, that four years and two months comes across as many, many lifetimes of normal astronauts and cosmonauts".

"A command for a retrograde burn has been issued", the source said. She has completed a 288-day long mission. "So that first 45 days is actually going to be very busy". Pictured clockwise from top right: Paolo Nespoli, Jack Fischer, Peggy Whitson, Sergey Ryazanskiy, Randy Bresnik and Fyodor Yurchikhin. She also was the first woman to command the space station twice. Their Russian Soyuz capsule undocked from the International Space Station just hours earlier. NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin will then dock at the ISS in their Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft and will spend the next six months in space.