As the pilot of Shuttle Endeavour on STS-111, I and my crew ferried Peggy and Expedition 5 to the ISS. A few months later, as the pilot of STS-113, I had the wonderful opportunity to bring her back to earth. Peggy was an outstanding crew member; full of fun and unbounded energy to get the job done. It was a highlight of my professional career to have been a part of Peggy Whitson’s first mission to the International Space Station.
As reported in Phy.Org on September 1, 2017:
Astronaut Peggy Whitson is closing out a space streak unmatched by any other American. The world’s most experienced spacewoman is due back on Earth this weekend following 9.5 months at the International Space Station. Counting all her flights, she will have logged 665 days in space—the equivalent of more than 1.5 years.
First stop Saturday night is Kazakhstan as usual for a Russian Soyuz capsule touchdown, then a brief detour to Germany before heading home to storm-crippled Houston.
During her third and latest mission, which began last November, the 57-year-old biochemist became the oldest woman in space. She performed her 10th spacewalk, more than any other woman. And she became the first woman to command the space station twice.
With her technical competence and support, we were able to continue building the ISS to the magnificent structure it is today. I am not surprised she has set the American record for time spent in orbit. She was at home there, amidst the beautiful views of the earth and celestial events. She will be remembered as one of America’s foremost astronauts. Well done Peggy!
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