Astronaut Peggy Whitson Sets New NASA Record For Most Days In Space

On Monday, Whitson broke the previous record of the longest stay in space by an American astronaut, surpassing the previous mark of 534 days. Peggy is now on a mission at the International Space station ending in September 2017, and will have logged more than 650 days by that time.

Trump will be joined by daughter Ivanka Trump and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins for the 20-minute call which will air live on NASA Television and stream on the agency's website and Facebook page.

Whitson expressed gratitude to her colleagues on Monday as she set the record, tweeting: "It is one of those rides that you hope never ends". In addition to her record-setting time in space, Whitson has also accumulated a impressive number of spacewalk hours. She said it was "a huge honor" to break the record and to represent "all the folks at NASA who make space flight possible".

While Whitson has broken the American record, the world record for cumulative time in space is still held by cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who spent 879 days in space over his career.

As part of the celebration, Whitson is getting a special phone call.

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Whitson told Trump that she was "excited about the missions to Mars in the 2030s".

"We want to do that during my first term or, at worst, my second", Trump joked.

Asked what the astronauts are "learning up there in space", Whitson described to the President how those at the International Space Station are researching ways to re-use certain materials - like human waste - to create resources.

The debut of the mega rocket is still more than a year away-at least.

In November 2016, Whitson and two other astronauts, from Russian Federation and the European Space Agency, blasted off for the International Space Station to conduct hundreds of experiments in biology, earth science, even how lighting affects the crew. "I've been dealing with politicians so much, I'm so much more impressed with these people, you have no idea".

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