Whitson, on her third long-duration mission to the International Space Station, completed her eighth spacewalk Thursday. And in doing so, she set a record for the most spacewalks performed by a woman and the most cumulative time spent space walking by a woman.
Whitson also moved up to take the fifth spot on the all-time space walking list according to The Associated Press.
Previously, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams held the women’s cumulative spacewalking record.
The spacewalk was scheduled for 6 hours and 30 minutes, but it ended up lasting 7 hours and 4 minutes. NASA said Whitson and astronaut Shane Kimbrough were tasked with installing four thermal protection shields on the Tranquility module of the ISS, but one shield floated away, so the team devised a new plan to patch up the area.
NASA’s Expedition 50-51 launched in November. Whitson has spent more than 500 days in space in total, and is scheduled to return in June.
You can follow Whitson’s @AstroPeggy Twitter account for the latest on her mission.
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