NASA's Peggy Whitson takes command of space station

Peggy Whitson

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who already holds records for cumulative time spent on the International Space Station (ISS) and for commanding it, will remain on board for three additional months beyond her initially scheduled return to Earth. Shane Kimborough from NASA along with two Russian cosmonauts Adrey Borisenko and Sergey Ryzhikov will leave the ISS in a capsule named Soyuz just around 4am on Monday.

Three astronauts are heading back to earth having departed the International Space Station earlier.

Three astronauts from the International Space Station have successfully landed in the steppes of Kazakhstan - two from Russian Federation and one from the United States.

That record is set to grow by about six more hours in late April when Whitson leads EVA-42. During this mission, Kimbrough performed three spacewalks to change the ISS's batteries and to fix the outside of the worldwide space station.




In 2008, Whitson became the first woman to command the space station, and on April 9 will become the first woman to command it twice. This is not Whitson first time when she is asked to take control of the ISS. She is the first female astronaut who performed the highest number of spacewalks up to this point. After ordinary procedures, leak test and initializing the spacecraft, MS-02 with three crew members undocked at 07:57 UTC and after reaching safe distance from ISS started its engines for 278 seconds to set deorbit course.

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough. If that spacewalk goes as planned, it should put her in third place for the most spacewalking time, behind retired astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria's 67 hours, 40 minutes. But under an agreement between NASA and the Russian Space Agency, she'll stay another three months and take advantage of an empty seat on a Soyuz capsule in the fall.

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, a Georgia Tech graduate, returned to earth Monday morning. According to the spacecraft commander's report, the crewmembers are feeling well.

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