Iowa native astronaut Peggy Whitson has blasted off for her third mission on the International Space Station.
Whitson grew up on a farm in southern Iowa’s Ringgold County and was launched into space on a six month mission aboard a Russian rocket that took off from Kazakhstan.
She has already logged 377 days aboard the orbiting station during missions in 2002 and 2007.
The space station has grown since Whitson was last there, with many of the compartments school bus-sized and the full station is now about as big as a football field.
She’s excited to learn about its new capabilities.
OC…….”utilize that” ;17
In February, she’ll celebrate her 57th birthday there and will be the oldest woman ever in space.
The station had a crew of three during her last mission, but this time, there will be six people on-board.
As for the six months ahead, Whitson says she has no specific goals.
OC……..”to be done”. :20
Whitson will also become the first woman to command the station twice.
Radio Iowa & NASA contributed to this story