Astronaut Peggy Whitson just passed the U.S. record for the most days in space.
This blog has covered many stories about national and international travel. So what about travel off of Earth?
NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson broke broke the record and in total has spent 534 days in space. That’s a year and a half! Image your life a year and a half ago. Now image spending all of that time in space. Peggy takes solo female travel to a whole new level. She also just completed her eighth spacewalk, the most ever completed by a female astronaut.
She is not due back to Earth until the fall, so she will surpass this record by far.
The previous record holders were all men.
The hastage #congratspeggy quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.
There has been a greater push in recent years to encourage young girls to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) career paths. Peggy herself said in a call with the president (npr.org),
For me, it was actually the Apollo program – was my inspiration. And that was when it became a dream to become an astronaut. But I don’t really think it became a goal until I graduated from high school when the first female astronauts were selected. And seeing those role models and with the encouragement of my parents and various mentors, that’s what made it possible I think to become an astronaut.
She did not have as many female role models back then as young girls do today. She didn’t need them. However many women, young and old, can be inspired by Peggy and break away from gender stereotypes.
In the same phone call, Peggy encouraged young people to play their part in the next Space mission,
We are absolutely ready to go to Mars. It’s going to be a fantastic journey getting there and very exciting times. And all of us would be happy to go. But I want all the young people out there to recognize that the real steps are going to be taken in a few years. And so by studying math, science, engineering, any kind of technology, you’re going to have a part in that
Women are celebrating this accomplishment on Twitter,
This is a huge feat for women travelers.
Peggy has a Tumblr dedicated to her life as an astronaut that I encourage you to check it out and take a look inside her world.
She will be heading back to Earth in September, and I’m sure she’ll have some catching up to do, as a lot has happened down here on Earth since she left.