World’s oldest and most experienced spacewoman is getting three extra months in orbit. NASA said, Peggy Whitson will remain on the International Space Station until September. The 57-year-old astronaut reached last November and was supposed to return to Earth in June.
But under an agreement between NASA and the Russian Space Agency, she will stay another three months and take advantage of an empty seat on a Soyuz capsule in the fall. This mission, her third, will now last close to 10 months.
Scientists are eager to monitor any changes to her body, to add to the knowledge gained from retired astronaut Scott Kelly’s recent one-year flight. The two men she flew up with in November France’s Thomas Pesquet and Russia’s Oleg Novitskiy will return in June without her.