American biochemist and astronaut Peggy Whitson is a woman of exemplary courage and substance. She sealed the mouths of all those doubting women’s leadership capabilities by becoming the first female commander to lead a space exploration in October 2007. She is also the only woman in NASA’s history to have logged the most days in space. Her list of achievements does not end here. In November 2016, she became the oldest woman to step into space.
Interestingly, she will be celebrating her 57th birthday at the place closest to her heart – space. She is on the Expedition 50/51. It has been predicted that by the end of the scheduled mission, she would have spent more time in space other than any other US astronaut. This will add another feather to her cap.
Let us delve into some interesting facts about Peggy Whitson’s life.
1. Peggy Annette Whitson was born in a very humble family on February 9, 1960, in Mount Ayr, Iowa. Her parents, Keith and Beth Whitson, owned a farm on the outskirts of Beaconsfield, a small town near Mount Ayr. Her parents worked day and night to fend for themselves. Peggy imbibed the qualities of hard work and perseverance from her parents.
While talking about her childhood in an interview , she said,” “Drive and desire was something I was raised with. It became a very important part of how I’ve become. I like to say I’m determined; some people would call it stubborn. It depends on your perspective.”
2. Enticed by television visuals of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin reaching the moon, Petty resolved to become an astronaut. She was 9 years old at that time.
3. Apart from her profound love for astronomy, she is also good at windsurfing, biking, basketball and water-skiing and finds time to pursue these activities.
4. Her professors tried to convince her to enroll in a medical school and study medicine but her determination towards becoming what she had been dreaming of since childhood kept her stuck to her goal.
5. Peggy Whitson has received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal three times; in 1995, 2003 and 2006. In 2006, Whitson received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. On April 12, 2011, the Russian government awarded her the ‘Medal For Merit in Space Exploration’ for outstanding contribution to the development of international cooperation in manned space flight.
6. According to an interview, Peggy does not have much regrets about her life. But she would definitely love to live in Mars before she dies.
Peggy also wishes to see more and more children from her hometown Iowa become successful in whatever they aspire to become.
At an age when most people think of their retirement plans, Peggy is busy pushing her boundaries and trying to achieve whatever she can. For her, age is just a number. Peggy Whitson is a true inspiration for people across the world.
Shethepeople.Tv wishes her a very Happy Birthday.