Iowa-born astronaut Peggy Whitson launched into the final frontier today, achieving a new record title for Oldest astronaut-female.
The veteran spacewoman has achieved this accomplishment at the remarkable age of 56 years and 282 days, still eager to take on missions sparked from her passion for science.
Aboard a Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft, she and two other rocketeers launched, headed towards the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The team went into orbit only eight minutes after lift off.
Now, after an anticipated two-day journey with fellow space engineers, Thomas Pesquet (France) and Oleg Novitskiy (Russia), the trio will arrive at the ISS to meet Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough (USA) and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko.
Together, they will work to carry out scientific studies until May 2017.
Peggy has had an adventurous and widely scientific career working as a US astronaut for NASA since 1996.
Throughout her long-term career Peggy has put her doctorate in biochemistry to good use.
She’s had two previous long stays in space, in 2002 and again in 2007, and even served as commander of the station, ultimately leaving a legendary trail for women in space.
Upon ending the mission, she will have topped spaceman Jeff Williams’ record of 534 days spent in space; nearing a year and a half of her life in zero gravity.