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NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson Sets New Record for Days in Space

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Astronaut Peggy Whitson aboard the International Space Station (White House/YouTube/LiveStream)
Astronaut Peggy Whitson and Colonel Jack D. Fischer aboard the International Space Station (White House/YouTube/LiveStream)

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson just made American space history, NPR is reporting.

After spending 534 days in orbit, Whitson has broken the record for the most time spent off-planet, officially breaking Jeff Williams’ record set last year.

“It is one of those rides that you hope never ends,” Whitson tweeted last night. “I am so grateful for all those who helped me on each of my missions!”

President Trump, his daughter Ivanka, and astronaut Kate Rubins called Whitson and Colonel Jack D. Fischer on the International Space Station Monday morning to congratulate Whitson on her accomplishment.

“534 days and counting,” President Trump said. “That’s an incredible record to break, and on behalf of our nation and frankly on behalf of the world, I’d like to congratulate you. That is really something,” President Trump said.

“It’s actually a huge honor to break a record like this,” Whitson told him. “It’s a very exciting time and I’m so proud of the team.”

During the call, Whitson spoke about some of the data astronauts are compiling, going on to reveal that anyone aboard the space station has to purify their urine to drink.

“Better you than me,” the President quipped.

This isn’t the only record Whitson holds. At 57, the biochemist has also broken the record for the oldest U.S. woman in space. She’s slated to spend at least another five months at the International Space Station, which will leave her with more than 650 days in space, according to NASA.

“I hope that every young American watching today finds in your example a reason to love space,” President Trump said, “…many great things are going to come out, tremendous discoveries in medicine and so many other fields, so thank you so much, God bless you and God bless America.”

Watch the full video call below.