Is there a record for the number of records broken by one astronaut?
NASA astronaut — and all around badass — Peggy Whitson set yet another spaceflight record Thursday. Whitson surpassed NASA astronaut Sunita Williams to become the female astronaut with the most spacewalks under her belt, according to NASA.
With this spacewalk, Whitson has now walked in space a total of eight times. Whitson now also has the most cumulative spacewalking time, beating Williams’ record of five hours and 40 minutes. (Michael Lopez-Alegria holds the overall record for most spacewalking time for any astronaut, but Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev blows everyone out of the water.)
The spacewalk itself hasn’t exactly been a cakewalk. Whitson and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough — her partner for this spacewalk — lost shielding used to protect a piece of hardware from the potentially harmful impacts of space debris hitting the station.
Mission controllers have figured out a workaround to protect the equipment, but it’s never a great thing to see a piece of needed equipment floating off into space accidentally.
This is only Whitson’s most recent record in a string of them since she flew to the International Space Station in November 2016.
Whitson, who is 57 years old, became the oldest woman to fly in space when she launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and in January, she set yet another record as the oldest woman to perform a spacewalk.
On April 6, Whitson will extend her record when she heads outside of the Space Station for her ninth spacewalk.