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Oldest female astronaut is on her way to the International Space Station

Peggy Whitson is 56 years old.
Peggy Whitson NASA

Peggy Whitson NASA

A NASA astronaut named Peggy Whitson has become the oldest woman in space – at 56 years old.

Peggy arrived at the International Space Station last weekend, and on her mission she’s expect to become the U.S. astronaut with the most time spent in orbit.

Not due back on Earth until spring 2017, Peggy is expected to surpass the previous record of 534 days spent in space held by Jeff Williams – another U.S. astronaut.

Iowa born Peggy completed two six month tours of duty aboard the Space Station in 2002 and 2008, accumulating 377 days in orbit.

Peggy and her team are currently en route to the ISS

The American has also performed six spacewalks, totalling 39 hours and 46 minutes in space.

With a doctorate in Biochemistry, Peggy was the first female Space Station Commander, as well as now being the oldest woman in space.

Whitson will even celebrate her 57th birthday while away from Earth – and let’s hope her fellow astronauts have got something out of this world planned for her.

You can follow Peggy on Twitter, where she posts updates about goings on at NASA and beyond.

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