As of 1:27am EDT on April 24, Whitson now has the U.S. record for cumulative time spent in space with a time of 534 days, 2 hours, 49 minutes, NASA announced Monday. She beat previous record holder, American astronaut Jeff Williams’ record, and with Whitson’s assignment having recently been extended until September, her record will only grow.
President Donald Trump spoke with Whitson from the White House to congratulate her.
“It’s actually a huge honor to break a record like this, but it’s an honor for me to basically to be representing all the folks at NASA who make space flight possible and who make me setting this record feasible,” Whitson said from the ISS. “So it’s a very exciting time to be at NASA.”
Breaking records in space isn’t anything new for Whitson, who already has a few under her belt. She was the first female commander of the space station (and became the first woman to lead it a second time) and holds the record for most spacewalks by a woman. With approximately five months left aboard the ISS, Whitson might break even more records.