The world’s oldest female astronaut continues breaking all the records in space

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Amy Swales
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When Dr Peggy Whitson isn’t posting casual tweets from space about growing cabbages, cultivating stem cells and playing zero gravity tricks on colleagues by hiding in a floating bag (see below), she’s breaking incredible records all over the shop.

Not only did Whitson become the first woman to command the International Space Station (ISS) back in 2007, this mission – her third – also saw her set the record for being the oldest woman in space (she turned 57 in February).

And as of yesterday (30 March) 11.51am EDT – which, at 4.51pm BST, was around the time we were daydreaming about post-work pub – Whitson logged the most hours spacewalking of any woman.

(The below image is from a spacewalk in January.)

As well as breaking the record for most spacewalks by a woman full stop (that’s eight, by the way), this walk, to carry out work on one of the station’s docking ports, gave her a total of over 53 hours – breaking the record previously set by Sunita Williams, who clocked just under 51.

Whitson, from Iowa, first went into space in 2002, and has spent more time in space than any other woman (more than 500 days away from our dear Earth).

By the time this mission ends in May, she’ll have spent more time in space than anyone – surpassing the 534 days of Jeff Williams, whose last mission ended in September.

She tweets about her incredible life under the handle @astropeggy and at last count, had more than 63,000 followers.

Yeah, we love her.

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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.