Peggy Whitson: Oldest woman in space blasts off to ISS

Peggy Whitson hopes to break some more records while she’s there. Record-breaking astronaut Peggy Whitson has blasted off into space for her third mission to the International Space Station.

Peggy Whitson already holds the record for the longest time spent in space by a woman, The veteran Nasa astronaut is the first woman to have commanded the ISS.

This time – she is the oldest woman in space – turning 57 while on mission.

On Friday, She blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

They will carry out a range of scientific investigations until May 2017. Joining an American and two Russians already aboard, They are expected to arrive at the ISS on Saturday.

On board the Soyuz rocket with her is French newcomer Thomas Pesquet and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky.

Iowa-born Peggy Whitson, worked for Nasa in several prominent medical science and research positions before being selected, as an astronaut candidate, in 1996.

She will break records again when she takes charge of the orbiting lab for a second time in February. She first went into space in 2002 and became the first woman to command the ISS in 2007.

Surpassing the 534-day record set by Jeff Williams, she will have spent more time in space than any other US astronaut, by the time her mission ends.

Before the launch at 02:20 local time on Friday morning, she told a news conference, “The most important thing about the station is the friendships and the work we accomplish there.”