Astronaut Peggy Whitson Just Took a Giant Leap for Womankind

Mar 31, 2017

American astronaut Peggy Whitson set a world record Thursday for the most spacewalks by a woman (eight) and the most accumulated time spent spacewalking (just over 53 hours).

NASA's Whitson, 57, made history when she took part in her eighth spacewalk, which began outside the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday morning. Along with her colleague Shane Kimbrough, Whitson helped construct a second docking port at the ISS, for U.S. crew ferry ships.

But he installation work didn't quite go to plan when a bundled-up piece of cloth shielding somehow came loose and floated away. According to the Associated Press, Mission Control monitored the shield as it drifted further from the ISS, later determining that it posed no risk to the 250-mile-high outpost.

The previous world record of female spacewalks was set at seven by American astronaut and ISS resident Suni Williams.

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