The astronaut Peggy Whitson has surpassed the previous record for the most days spent in Space on Sunday morning at 1:27 pm Washington time, according to BBC. Her stay on board of the international space station ISS) was extended until September.

For Whitson, 57 years old, this is the second time she is in charge of International Space Station — a multinational project of $100 billion of NASA and the space agency Roscosmos.

Peggy Whitson was the first woman in charge of the ISS

In 2008, Whitson became the first woman who commanded the ISS crew. On April 9 this year, she became the first woman in charge of the ISS twice.

After arriving on board the ISS on November 17, with 377 days already spent in space, she overcame the record of Jeff Williams — which was 534-days, 2-hours and 48-minute cumulative time in space.

Peggy Whitson's third long stay aboard the ISS

This is her third long stay on board of the International Space Station. Her mission has been extended until September. When she comes back to Earth on September 3 this year, she will have 666 days spent in space.

This will make Peggy Whitson the seventh astronaut in the world with the highest number of days spent outside our planet. The absolute record of days spent in space is held by the Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka — with a total of 879 days.

Congratulated by the president

The US President Donald Trump congratulated Peggy Whitson through a video connection from the White House.

Whitson replied that it's a big honor for her to break a record like this and to represent all her colleagues from NASA who make the space flight possible. She added that she is proud of her team and they are they are waiting for the future missions to Mars announced in the 2030s.

When Trump asked her what they are learning from being in orbit around Earth, Dr. Whitson answered that they are studying the effects of deep space travel on the human body. This will help them on the future missions to Mars. The astronaut also said that water is a particular challenge in space.

The oldest woman in space

Peggy Whitson was born in Iowa and she has a doctorate in biochemistry.

She has worked for NASA in several medical and scientific projects before being selected in 1996 for a list of candidates wishing to become astronauts. Peggy Whitson is also the oldest woman who flew in space so far. The previous record belonged to Barbara Morgan, who was 55 years old in 2007 when she was sent to space.