Trump calls space hire as wanderer sets record

President Trump called the International Space Station Monday for a videochat watched by thousands of school kids, congratulating commander Peggy Whitson on apropos America’s many gifted wanderer and jokingly earnest to get Americans to Mars “during my first term or, at worst, during my second term.”

Joined by wanderer Kate Rubins and daughter Ivanka Trump at the White House, the boss pronounced Whitson’s record noted “a very special day in the stately story of American spaceflight.”

“Today, commander Whitson, you have broken the record for the many sum time space in space by an American astronaut, 534 days and counting,” he said. “That’s an implausible record to break, and on interest of the republic and honestly on interest of the world, I’d like to honour you, that is really something. How does it feel to have broken such a big and vicious record?”


Space hire commander Peggy Whitson and wanderer Jack Fischer plead the space program during a video call with President Trump.

Whitson, making her third spaceflight and second as commander of the space station, pronounced it was “an respect for me to represent all the folks at NASA who make spaceflight probable and who make me environment this record feasible.”

On Monday, around 1:27 a.m. EDT (GMT-5), Whitson became America’s many gifted wanderer when her sum time in space changed past Jeff Williams’ symbol of 534 days two hours and 48 minutes. When she earnings to Earth Sept. 3, her sum time in space will mount at 666 days, moving her up to eighth in the world.

The universe record is held by cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who has logged 878 days aloft over 5 missions. During the talk with the president, a vast ensign behind Fisher and Whitson said: “Congrats Peggy!! New U.S. High-Time Space Ninja.” Below that a jaunty warning to Padalka: “Check 6 Gennady/here she comes.”

Whitson already is the world’s many gifted womanlike spacewalker with 53 hours and 23 mins of EVA time during eight spacewalks over her 3 missions. She plans to boyant outward again on May 12, operative with newly arrived crewmate Jack Fischer to lift out a accumulation of upkeep tasks.

Assuming that spacewalk runs the designed six-and-a-half hours, her sum for 9 EVAs will be scarcely 60 hours, moving her up to third in the universe altogether behind cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev and former wanderer Mike Lopez-Alegria.

“I don’t really know how we got this lucky!” Whitson pronounced progressing in an talk with CBS News. “It’s been extraordinary to have the opportunities that I’ve had, it’s just extraordinary to me (how) some loyalty and a lot of tough work paid off at the end. It’s just unbelievable.”

President Trump asked her “what are we training from having you spending your time up there? we know so much investigate is done. What are we training by being in space?”


President Trump, flanked on the left by wanderer Kate Rubins and on the right by daughter Ivanka Trump, called the International Space Station to honour commander Peggy Whitson on apropos America’s many gifted astronaut, Monday, Apr 24, 2017.

“I consider the International Space Station is providing a pivotal overpass from us vital on Earth to going somewhere into low space,” pronounced Whitson, floating beside Fischer in the Destiny laboratory module. “On those Mars missions, we need to know how microgravity is really inspiring the body, and we need to know it in good detail. So, many of the studies are looking at the human body.”

She pronounced the hire also is assisting engineers test vicious life support systems that will be indispensable for long-duration voyages to Mars.

“Water is such a changed apparatus up here that we also are cleaning up the urine and making it drinkable,” Whitson said. “And it’s really not as bad as it sounds!”

“Well that’s good, I’m blissful to hear that,” Trump replied. “Better you than me.”

NASA now is building a outrageous heavy-lift rocket famous as the Space Launch System upholder and the Orion plug to lift astronauts over low-Earth orbit. To get to Mars, those systems will have to be tested on low space missions and a medium procedure of some arrange will have to be developed.

NASA believes it may be probable to send astronauts on fights to at slightest circuit Mars by the midst 2030s, with landings following at some indicate after that.

President Trump asked Whitson when she suspicion Americans will be prepared for a moody to the red planet.

“It’ll be approximately in the 2030s,” Whitson said. “Unfortunately, spaceflight takes a lot of time and money. So getting there will need some general team-work for it to be a planet-wide proceed in sequence to make it successful. Just since it is a very costly endeavor. But it is so inestimable doing.”

“Well, we wish to try and do it during my first term or at misfortune during my second term,” Trump joked. “So we’ll have to speed that up a little bit, OK?”

The boss asked the astronauts about opportunities for entrepreneurs in space, observant “I have many friends that are so vehement about space, they wish to get concerned in space from the standpoint of entrepreneurship and business.”

“Tell us about the opportunities that could exist for the next era of scientists and engineers,” he asked. “What do you consider of the opportunities for immature students wanting to be concerned in space?”

Fischer replied that America’s space program is staid for “an blast of activity” on the blurb space front.

“One thing we adore about American entrepreneurs is once you get them going, you better mount out of their way since they’re going to start trucking,” he said. “And we’re about to that point. NASA is holding on that expensive, hard, formidable charge of going over and deeper into space … and then as shortly as we mangle open that door, this implausible infrastructure we’ve been building is going to be right there to collect up the rod and continue into the starts.”

He told students “the time to get vehement is now.”

“If you aren’t study scholarship and math, you competence wish to consider about that since the future in the stars starts now,” he said. “And you can be a partial of that if, like Dr. Whitson, you can find that passion and work really hard. We’re going find a permanent foothold in the stars for amiability if you do that.”

President Trump sealed out the review by asking “which one of you is prepared to go to Mars? Are you ready?”

“We are positively prepared to go to Mars,” Whitson said. “It’s going to be a illusory tour getting there and very sparkling times. All of us would be happy to go. But we wish all the immature people out there to commend that the genuine stairs are going to be taken in a few years. By study math, science, engineering, any kind of technology, you’re going to have a partial in that. And that’ll be very exciting.”

Whitson grew up on a plantation in Iowa and went on to earn a doctorate in biochemistry from Rice University in 1985. She worked as a investigate biochemist for NASA and eventually was comparison as an wanderer in 1996.

She first flew in space in 2002, drifting to the hire aboard the shuttle Endeavour and portion for 6 months as a moody operative and scholarship officer, returning to Earth aboard Endeavour after logging 184 days 22 hours and 14 mins in space. She also chalked up her first spacewalk, a four-hour 25-minute outing using a Russian spacesuit.

Whitson took off on her second moody in Oct 2008, rising from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz TMA-11 packet ship. Whitson became the space station’s first womanlike commander and oversaw the connection of 3 major modules and a vicious robot arm attachment.

She also achieved 5 spacewalks during her second goal — pulling her EVA sum to 39 hours and 46 mins — and logged 191 days 17 hours and 9 mins off planet, pulling her accumulative time in space to 376 days 17 hours and 21 minutes.

A year and a half later, Whitson took over as arch of NASA’s wanderer bureau at the Johnson Space Center, the first female, public wanderer to conduct the office.

But she never gave up her enterprise to fly in space again and took off on her stream goal on Nov. 17, 2016, joining Soyuz MS-03 commander Oleg Novitskiy and European Space Agency wanderer Thomas Pesquet. She carried out two spacewalks, one in Jan and and one in March, pulling her sum to eight over her 3 missions.

Whitson creatively was scheduled to return to Earth Jun 2 with Novitskiy and Pesquet. But Russia recently opted to reduced its organisation element by one to save income and the many new Soyuz launched to the hire only carried two organisation members: Fischer and Soyuz MS-05 commander Fyodor Yurchikhin. They arrived Apr 20.

NASA and Roscosmos, the Russian sovereign space agency, recently concluded to extend Whitson’s stay by 3 months to maximize U.S. science. She now plans to return to Earth Sept. 3 with Yurchikhin and Fischer to close out a 289-day flight, pulling her accumulative sum to 666 days.

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