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07 April 2017, 02:27 | Dawn Berry
Russia Open to Extending Life of International Space Station to 2028More
Whitson is poised to continue her record-breaking streak and is just a few weeks away from surpassing NASA astronaut Jeff Williams' record for the most time spent in space by a USA astronaut. "There's a lot of folks that make it happen", Whitson said in an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News while aboard the International Space Station.
"I love being up here", she said in a statement. "Living and working aboard the space station is where I feel like I make the greatest contribution, so I am constantly trying to squeeze every drop out of my time here". "Having three more months to squeeze is just what I would wish for". On April 24th, she'll have spent more than 534 days in space, exceeding the total flight time of previous record holder Jeff Williams.
Last week, Whitson broke another record for the longest spacewalk by a woman. Whitson hopes her record will be shattered as well.
Russia's downsizing decision means that only two people - Fischer and Yurchikhin -will be launching on the next Soyuz launch this month, instead of the usual three.
"We are ready to discuss it", Igor Komarov, general director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, told reporters at the U.S. Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, when asked if his country would consider a four-year extension.
According to NASA, extending her stay will allow for additional time to conduct experiments on board the station.
She will stay with the Expedition 52 crew and the other two men she flew with to Expedition 51, which are European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy will return to Earth in June, Space reported. With Whitson's extended stay, the orbiting outpost will continue to have a full crew of six.
"By extending the stay of one of NASA's most veteran astronauts, our research, our technology development, our commercial and our global partner communities will all benefit", said Shireman.
And on April 24, she'll set a new USA record for most accumulated time in space. In partnership with CASIS, managers of the ISS National Lab, and Lowe's Innovation Labs, the disruptive technology hub of the Lowe's Home Improvement chain, Made In Space sent the first commercial 3D printer to the ISS in April 2016, designated the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF).
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