A NASA astronaut will become the oldest woman in space. Hopefully she can take me with her.
The Associated Press reports that Peggy Whitson, who catches a ride to outer space on Thursday, will turn 57 in orbit aboard the International Space Station. Until now Barbara Morgan held the title, with her 2007 trip at 55. “I think it gets easier as you get older,” Whitson told the Des Moines Register. “You know what to worry about and what not to worry about. You prioritize your effort. It’s the ‘work smarter, not harder’ that with experience is much easier to do.”
The Des Moines Register also outlined a number of Whitson’s accomplishments: “She was its first female commander in 2007 and will become the first woman to ever command the space station twice. Combined with her 2002 mission, has logged the most days in space of any female in NASA history — 377.”
Truly I cannot imagine a more aspirational figure for this moment, in that she has achieved a great deal and also I would like to be in a rocket hurtling toward outer space.