Iowa-Native Peggy Whitson Sets Space Duration Record, Will Get a Call from Trump


US astronaut Peggy Whitson waves from inside a bus as she leaves to board the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome on November 17, 2016.
The International space crew of French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and US astronaut Peggy Whitson will take a flight to the International Space Station (ISS) early on November 18 local time. / AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

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President Donald Trump, his daughter, Ivanka, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will call NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson from the Oval Office on Monday to congratulate Whitson on her record-breaking stay on the International Space Station.

Early Monday morning, Whitson officially set the US record for most cumulative days in space, surpassing astronaut Jeff Williams’ record of 534 days, according to NASA.

Whitson arrived at the space station for her current stint on November 19, 2016, and is due to return to Earth in September.

Whitson also is the first woman to command the space station; she has commanded it twice. Her first stint as commander was in April 2008 and she’s commanding the current crew.

She also holds the record for most spacewalks by a female astronaut. Whitson took her eighth spacewalk in March.

Whitson’s 20-minute call with President Trump will air live on NASA Television and will be streamed on the agency’s website and Facebook page at 10 a.m. ET.

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