Astronaut Peggy Whitson Breaks Female Record With 8 Spacewalks

Having already made history as the oldest female NASA astronaut to travel in space, Peggy Whitson has made history again.

On Thursday, March 30, Whitson broke a record for the number of spacewalks by a woman. The new record to beat? A total of 53 hours (previously, Sunita Williams logged 50 hours and 40 minutes), which the 'Chicago Tribune reports is the "most accumulated time spent spacewalking" for a female astronaut.

Her eighth walk, however, was an impromptu one, which happened when she and Shane Kimbrough had to do an "impromptu patch job... after losing a vital piece of cloth shielding" outside the International Space Station.

Impressively, her record holdings do not stop here as she has also spent more days in space (500+) than any other woman and ranks No. 5 on the "all-time spacewalking list."


Spacewalk complete and new astronaut record set! Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson of NASA successfully reconnected cables and electrical connections on an adapter-3 that will provide the pressurized interface between the station and the second of two international docking adapters to be delivered to the complex to support the dockings of U.S. commercial crew spacecraft in the future. The duo were also tasked with installing four thermal protection shields on the Tranquility module of the International Space Station (@ISS). Having completed her eighth spacewalk, Whitson now holds the record for the most spacewalks and accumulated time spacewalking by a female astronaut. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 1,243 hours and 42 minutes outside the station during 199 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Astronaut Thomas Pesquet (@thom_astro) of ESA (@europeanspaceagency) posted this image and wrote, ' Shane and Peggy on their way to their first #spacewalk tasks.' Credit: ESA/NASA #nasa #iss #spacestation #science #astronauts #esa

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Photo Credit: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images