Record breaking Nasa astronaut returns to earth

Peggy Whitson after landing
Peggy Whitson's first moments after landing in Kazakhstan Photo credit: Getty Images

Astronaut and Biochemist Peggy Whitson has spent 665 days off the planet during her illustrious career - and the latest record breaking chapter came to an end in Kazakhstan on Saturday night (US time). 

Alongside her record for the most time in space for any woman or American astronaut, 57-year-old Whitson holds the records for world's oldest spacewoman and most experienced female spacewalker.

Whitson worked hard on research and space station maintenance while in orbit, making several space walks for needed repairs and amendments to the station. 

In a slightly less daring but also important endeavour she tried to improve the freeze dried food at the station. Part of her experimentation involved turning tortillas into apple pies.

Returning this weekend Whitson said she was excited for pizza and to see her husband Clarence Sams, also a biochemist after nearly a year apart. 

Departing the ISS alongside Whitson were Russian Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and American Astronaut Jack Fischer.

In their farewell the stations newest commander, Randy Bresnik, celebrated their vast experience pointing out that across them all they had spent 1474 days in space.

Due to Hurricane Harvey Nasa was unable to collect the newly returned astronauts from Kazakhstan, instead Whitson has been transported to Cologne where they will complete their journey to finally return home on Sunday night (US time).

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