SpaceX and NASA gear up for historic astronaut launch an voyage
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Few human beings are able to say they’ve been lucky enough to travel to space. Peggy Whitson, however, is in a league of her own. The veteran astronaut has an incredible list of record-breaking accomplishments to her name: first woman to command the International Space Station twice (2008 & 2013); first non-military and first female Chief Astronaut and most space walks (10) of any female astronaut in the world (at 60 hours, 21 minutes total), and she has spent more time in space than any American – 665 days.
The flight of Space Shuttle mission STS-120, commanded by astronaut Pam Melroy, was the first time that two female mission commanders have been in orbit at the same time. After completion of her eighth EVA in March 2017, Whitson also holds the records for the oldest woman spacewalker.
While she was breaking records, Dr. Whitson was also conducting groundbreaking research on a wide breadth of subjects with enormous implications for the future of humanity—robotics and artificial intelligence, medicine, agriculture, logistics, engineering, marine life, and beyond.
Dr. Whitson’s remarkable life story is a thrilling example for others to follow, humble beginnings on a farm to her tales of spaceflight and crash landings in the steppes of Kazakhstan. She was named as one of Time Magazines’ Most Influential People (2018), was the cover of National Geographic Magazine and one of eight astronauts featured in Darren Aronofsky’s One Strange Rock.
Dr. Peggy Whitson inspires younger generations, particularly young women, to pursue their dreams—whether the goal is a career in the ever-crucial STEM fields or to break some records of their own.
SpaceX plans to send four astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA on November 14. Called Crew-1, the mission will be the first operational flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon astronaut taxi and the second Crew Dragon mission to carry passengers on board. It is scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:49 p.m. EST.
Riding the Dragon will be NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who will spend about six months at the orbiting laboratory before returning to Earth.
Discovery and Science Channel will capture the historic launch. Both networks will go live with unprecedented access. The mission marks the first crew rotation mission to the ISS – paving the way to commercial space travel. SPACE LAUNCH LIVE, a multiplatform event, will simulcast live on both coasts on Saturday, November 14, at 6PM (ET) / 3 PM (PT.)
Whitson joined KUSI’s Lauren Phinney on Good Morning San Diego to discuss the launch and share some information about her career.