In photos: Record-breaking NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson

Peggy Whitson talks with POTUS


President Donald Trump called NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson to congratulate her on a successful return from a record-breaking mission to the International Space Station.

Expedition 52 crew back on Earth


NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson (left), Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin (center) and NASA astronaut Jack Fischer (right) pose for a photo after landing in Kazakhstan on Sept. 3, 2017, local time (late Sept. 2, EDT). Whitson spent 288 days on the space station during her flight, with Fischer and Yurchikhin spending 136 days on their mission.

Astronaut Peggy Whitson smiles after record mission


NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson smiles after returning to Earth on a Soyuz capsule in Kazakhstan on Sept. 3, 2017, local time (Sept. 2 EDT), ending a record-breaking mission to the International Space Station.

In the cupola


NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson floats in front of the cupola window at the International Space Station. The cupola is the largest window ever launched into space and provides a clear view of Earth and incoming cargo shipments.

President Trump calls space station to congratulate Peggy Whitson


NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson broke the record for cumulative time spent in space by a U.S. astronaut.

Mission control to Trump

Robert Markowitz/NASA

Flight Director Brian Smith, Capcom astronaut Jessica Meir along with astronaut Jeff Williams monitor activities in Mission Control as President Donald Trump, First Daughter Ivanka Trump and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins make a special Earth-to-space call Monday, April 24, 2017, from the Oval Office to personally congratulate NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson for her record-breaking stay aboard the International Space Station. 

Peggy Whitson talks from ISS


NASA astronaut and space station crewmember Peggy Whitson speaks with a representative of the Guinness Book of World Records on July 26, 2017.

Oranges, apples and more


Inside the Unity module, Expedition 51 crewmembers — from the left, flight engineers Oleg Novitskiy, Fyodor Yurchikhin and Jack Fischer and commander Peggy Whitson — eat together.

Peggy and Jack Fourth of July 1


NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer celebrated 2017's Fourth of July in space on the International Space Station with a stars-and-stripes photoshoot.

Space cheeseburger!


A "space cheeseburger," made using a tortilla for bread, is seen on board the International Space Station in late 2016. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson floats in the background.

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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.