In photos: Record-breaking NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson



Impaired vision sometimes afflicts visitors to the Space Station. NASA's Peggy Whitson uses the Fundoscope to collect images of the back of her eye during a routine check.

Tangled up


NASA's Peggy Whitson floats among tangled cables inside the Columbus module on the International Space Station.

In the glovebox


The Microgravity Science Glovebox is where astronauts test how gases and liquids behave inside a column of fixed porous material.

Whitson opens the HTV-6


NASA's Peggy Whitson opens the Harmony module hatchway to the HTV-6. The cargo craft was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center on Friday, December 9, 2016, for its four-day trip to the ISS.

Food and fun


Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough, Expedition 50 crewmembers, aboard the International Space Station have some fun with fresh fruit delivered by the HTV-6 cargo vehicle in December 2016. These cargo vehicles deliver small amounts of fresh food to the ISS — including fruits and vegetables — on a regular basis.

Passing it on

Bill Stafford/NASA

In the fall of 2016 astronaut Peggy Whitson works with Expedition 49/50 crewmembers Takuya Onishi and Kate Rubins with spacewalk training in preparation for their trip to the International Space Station.

ISS prep

Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center

Whitson, Expedition 16 commander, and cosmonaut Yuri I. Malenchenko, a flight engineer from Russia's Federal Space Agency, train at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, in September 2007.

Ready and standing by

Stephanie Stoll/NASA

Astronaut Peggy Whitson signs in at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center at Star City, Russia, for the Soyuz qualification exams on May 26, 2016, before Expedition 48/49. Whitson was part of the backup crew for the mission that launched on June 24, 2016.

Warm welcome


After the Space Shuttle Discovery docked with the International Space Station on October 25, 2007, astronaut Peggy Whitson, Expedition 16 commander, greeted Astronaut Pam Melroy, STS-120 commander. Melroy sat in the Orbiter Docking Compartment while Whitson lay in the Pressurized Mating Adapter.

Suited up for space


On September 3, 2002, Whitson, flight engineer for Expedition Five, sits in a docked Soyuz spacecraft at the International Space Station. She wears a Russian Sokol suit.

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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.