In photos: Record-breaking NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson

Expedition 16


Veteran NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson places her mission patch on the International Space Station during the Expedition 16 mission.

Expedition 50


Expedition 50 crew members Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough of NASA take a selfie during robotics training inside the cupola of the International Space Station.

Peggy Whitson Christmas socks

NASA/Peggy Whitson via Twitter

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson dons a Santa hat and Christmas socks in weightlessness to celebrate the holidays on the International Space Station on Dec. 22, 2016.

Prepping for the Dragon


International Space Station astronauts Peggy Whitson and Thomas Pesquet take part in a video conference with ground control to prepare for the robotic capture of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft that launched on Feb. 19, 2017.

Football fan


NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson (left) and Shane Kimbrough talk Super Bowl LI and life in space in this video still from a live NASA event on Feb. 1, 2017. The astronauts watched the 2017 Super Bowl from space.

Spacewalk smile


NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson during a spacewalk in 2008.

Expedition 50


Expedition 50 official crew portrait with (from left) Andrei Borisenko, Shane Kimbrough, Sergey Ryzhikov, Thomas Pesquet, Peggy Whitson and Oleg Novitsky.

Expedition 50/51 crew portrait

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Astronauts Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), Oleg Novitskiy of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Peggy Whitson of NASA pose for a group photo at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia during qualification exams for their Expedition 50/51 mission to the International Space Station.

Expedition 50 boards the Soyuz

NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Expedition 50 crewmembers wave farewell as they board the Soyuz spacecraft 2.5 hours before liftoff.

Seconds to launch


Astronaut Thomas Pesquet and cosmonaut Oleg Navitskiy hold hands as the countdown approaches launch time.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.