Russia open to extending international space station partnership: agency chief

Russia open to extending international space station partnership: agency chief

Russia open to extending international space station partnership: agency chief

This is Whitson's third mission and will now last close to 10 months. "Having three more months to squeeze is just what I would wish for", Whitson said.

There will be a return seat for Whitson in September because the Soyuz due to launch later this month will carry up one American and one Russian, one person fewer than usual.

Peggy Whitson is adding more time to an already record-breaking mission after signing an agreement to stay on the International Space Station for an additional three months. On April 20, the Russian spacecraft Soyuz will bring NASA's Jack Fischer and Russia's Fyodor Yurchikhin to the ISS. And on Sunday, she'll become the first woman to command the ISS twice.

"I'd describe our prints previous year as trailblazers, since they were all made in orbit for the first time and we were exploring how best to utilize AMF", said Matt Napoli, Made In Space vice president of In-Space Operations. Former astronaut Scott Kelly holds the US record for the longest single flight at 340 days.

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Three crew members aboard the International Space Station are packing up their gear for a homecoming on Monday.

NASA's space station program director, Kirk Shireman, said Whitson's skill and experience make her "an incredible asset" up there, and her extra time will be put to good use. Peggy Whitson, a pioneering NA... That will enable continued research operations in the USA segment of the lab that otherwise would have been curtailed if just one astronaut was available. She now has the most total spacewalking time for women in space. On April 24, she will break the record of 534 days, now held by astronaut Jeff Williams. NASA managers wanted to ensure the station maintained a six-person crew to maximize research while Russian Federation temporarily reduces its crew to two cosmonauts. The volume of an experiment done on board by six astronauts will also increase.

In this January 13, 2017 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Peggy Whitson, center, floats inside the Quest airlock of the International Space Station with Thomas Pesquet, left, and Shane Kimbrough before their spacewalk. The station's research, technology development commercial and global partner communities will greatly benefit by extending the stay of NASA's most veteran astronaut.

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