NASA astronaut and Iowa native Peggy Whitson returns to Earth Sa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

NASA astronaut and Iowa native Peggy Whitson returns to Earth Saturday

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Associated Press Associated Press

NASA astronaut and Iowa native, Peggy Whitson, and her Expedition 52 crewmates are scheduled to depart the International Space Station and return to Earth Saturday, September 2.  They have been at the Space Station for over nine months.

Whitson is the most experienced spacewoman in the world.  Including this flight, she has now logged 665 days in space.  During this flight, she performed her 10th spacewalk and became the first woman to actually command the space station twice.  Also during this flight, 57-year-old Whitson became the oldest woman in space.

Her crewmates include Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.  The trio will undock their Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft from the space station at 5:58 p.m. EDT and land in Kazakhstan at 9:22 p.m. (7:22 a.m. Sept. 3, Kazakhstan time). NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik has taken over command of the station from Yurchikhin, according to NASA.

While living and working aboard the space station, the crew pursued hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, according to NASA.

Iowa is proud to follow the career of Whitson.  Whitson was born in Mount Ayr and grew up on a farm outside Beaconsfield.  She received her undergraduate degree from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1981.

Learn more about the mission and flight return schedule here.

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