[October 10]
2007

On her 2nd 6-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Owl Astronaut Peggy Whitson (Rice PhD in biochemistry) blasts off on October 10, leading Expedition 16 as the 1st female commander of the ISS. NASA's most experienced astronaut, Whitson spends just over 376 days in space. On her 1st mission, she is the 1st resident scientist on the ISS, and during her career she takes 6 spacewalks, logging 39 hours, 46 minutes in space -- more than any other woman.  

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Peggy Whitson
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