The world's most experienced spacewoman is returning to Earth

The world's most experienced spacewoman is returning to Earth

The world's most experienced spacewoman is returning to Earth

Whitson returned to Earth with Jack Fischer, also with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, who had been aboard the station since June.

"As a result of the impacts of Hurricane Harvey, NASA is reviewing return plans to Houston of Whitson, Fischer and the science samples landing in the Soyuz spacecraft", the space agency said.

The reins of the International Space Station were passed from Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos to Randy Bresnik of NASA during a ceremony on the orbital outpost September 1.

Whitson, a biochemist, set a breakneck pace on all three of her space station expeditions, continually asking for more _ and still more _ scientific research to do.

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Expedition 48-49 backup crew member Peggy Whitson of NASA poses for a photograph as the Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft is rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, July 4, 2016. The crew is also set to go through a standard post-flight medical evaluations.

At the time of their landing on Earth Mr Yurchikhin will have completed a total of 673 days in space on his five flights and ranked seventh on the all-time endurance list.

A record-shattering NASA astronaut returns to Earth on Sunday, finishing a 288-day mission that put her over the top as the American who has spent the most cumulative amount of time in space.

While living and working aboard the space station, the Expedition 52 crew pursued hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanitys only orbiting laboratory, NASA said.

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The world record belongs to Russian Astronaut Gennady Padalka, who spent 879 days in space.

The US astronauts are based in Houston, which is dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the widespread flooding left in its wake.

Whitson also holds the record for most spacewalks by a female. Three men remain at the space station: Bresnik, a Russian and an Italian. "There are many investigations on the human body that we've been doing up here in orbit, so we'll have to continue those studies as well during that first 45 days", Whitson said during an in-flight interview with

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