Watch astronaut Peggy Whitson return to Earth after 288 days in space


Watch astronaut Peggy Whitson return to Earth after 288 days in space

Record-setting astronaut Peggy Whitson is coming back from space as the cumulative record holder for longest time spent floating up among the stars and you can watch the live stream of her touching down to Earth tonight.

The de-orbiting burn will start around 5 pm Pacific, with the landing taking place at 6:22 pm Pacific time (or Sunday at 7:22 am where she’ll land in Kazakhstan).

Whitson spent 288 days, or nearly 10 months in space, totaling 4,623 orbits this time around, breaking the record for most time in space overall. Her record is just shy of only one other U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent 340 consecutive days in space. However, Whitson has logged a total of 665 days, making her the astronaut with more space experience than any other American.

The U.S. space woman was supposed to return to Earth in June but happily accepted the opportunity to stay on another three months when Russia’s space organization Roscosmos pulled its crew back from participation in a mission to the ISS earlier this year.

Whitson ranks behind a handful of Russian cosmonauts record-setters who spent time on Russia’s Mir space station as well as the International Space Station (ISS), where Whitson spent her most recent mission. However, Whitson is impressive in many other ways beyond her American record, including as the first female commander of the ISS, the most experienced space walker with 60 hours of spacewalks under her belt and she’s the oldest woman to go to space at the age of 57.

Whitson, who is now on her third mission aboard the ISS, also made the first 4K live stream from space in April, transmitting the stream to the 2017 National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.

She will be joined on her flight back from the space station tonight by fellow American astronaut Jack Fischer and Russia’s Fyodor Yurchikhin, who are leaving the ISS with Whitson.

You can watch as she touches down in real-time tonight in the video below:

Featured Image: Bill Ingalls/NASA / Handout/Getty Images

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