Skip to main content

Things We Saw Today: Record-Breaking Astronaut Peggy Whitson Returns to Earth Tonight

Astronaut and biochemist Peggy Whitson is returning to Earth today, after a 288-day stint at the International Space Station (ISS). This brings her career total to 665 days in space, making her the American astronaut with the most experience in orbit. (For the world record, she lands in eighth behind seven Russian cosmonauts.) She also set the record for oldest female NASA astronaut back in November of 2016.

NASA Television will air the return of Whitson, as well as her Expedition 52 crewmates Jack Fischer (NASA) and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin (Roscosmos/Russia). The deorbit burn will air at 8:29 P.M. EDT, and the landing at 9:22 P.M. EDT. NASA will then replay the whole process – hatch closure, undocking, and landing activities – at 11:00 P.M. EDT.

Asked what she will miss from her time in space, Whitson said to NASA, “I will miss seeing the enchantingly peaceful limb of our Earth from this vantage point. Until the end of my days, my eyes will search the horizon to see that curve. I will miss seeing and working within this awe-inspiring creation that we, as a people, have constructed here in space, travelling at 17,500 mph.”

While few of us can understand Whitson’s accomplishment and experience in space, there’s one part of her return we can all understand. When asked what she was most looking forward to about Earth, she said, “Pizza has been on my mind for a month or two.” (via Ars Technica and NASA)

  • io9 has an exclusive preview of Bombshells: United, the new Bombshells story which has the D.C. superheroines fighting together against the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
  • Taika Waititi was being very Taiki Waititi in this satirical quote about directing himself, and I love it. “You’ve got to understand that Taika Waititi the actor is an incredible person to work with,” he joked to The Los Angeles Times. “When Taika Waititi the director comes across someone like that, it just seems appropriate to give that actor a bit more time to show what they can do. I did that, and my theory was correct. I was, he was that good. As an actor, I highly valued Taika Waititi the director, who was very generous to me in giving me a few more takes than everyone else, and really let me show what I can do.” (via ScreenRant)
  • This crafty child made seed art of Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Minnesota State Fair, and my heart is full.
  • Why was this the worst summer at the box office in 11 years? Deadline has a few thoughts.
  • Paul Bettany may be replacing Michael K. Williams in the Han Solo movie? Multiple sites have confirmed that Bettany will join the cast in some capacity, and /Film is claiming that he’s been cast to replace Michael K. Williams, who had to drop out of the film after Disney/Lucasfilm scheduled extensive reshoots and he couldn’t accommodate them in his schedule. It would be the most frustratingly Hollywood move to replace a black actor with a white one, but I can also acknowledge that this was a “half-human, half-animal” character, so it’d be somewhat (somewhat) less egregious. (via io9)
  • This Seattle event with G. Willow Wilson looks pretty cool, if you’re in the area and can attend. Wilson will “delve into American identity through the story of Ms. Marvel and its author. This event will cover topics including Islam and America’s relationship with it, Wilson’s experiences as a White woman converting to Islam after growing up in an atheist household, her life as a journalist in Egypt, and Ms. Marvel’s success and what it means for comic culture and American culture more broadly.”

Featured image via NASA Johnson

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue: