Astronaut Peggy Whitson is no stranger to breaking NASA records, and she plans to add a few more to her list before returning to Earth in the fall.
NASA announced Wednesday that Whitson will remain at the International Space Station for three months longer than initially planned. Whitson, who was already on track to break the record for most cumulative days in space by an American on April 24, will now add even more space-time to her record before returning to Earth in September.
According to NASA, extending her stay will allow for additional time to conduct experiments on board the station.
“This is great news,” Whitson said in a statement. “I love being up here. Living and working aboard the space station is where I feel like I make the greatest contribution, so I am constantly trying to squeeze every drop out of my time here."
The 57-year-old, who became the first woman to command the space station in 2008, will also take over as commander for a second time on April 9. She's currently on her third mission to the station, and recently broke records for most spacewalks by a woman with eight, and most hours spent spacewalking with more than 50.