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Graceland Connections In Outer Space

Horizons Spring 2023 Home

Class Notes - Spring 2023

June 15, 2023

Honorary Gracelander Peggy Whitson, PhD, is the first female commander on the Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2), the second all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

During her 37-year career with NASA, Whitson flew on three long-duration space flights and holds the record among American astronauts and women for spending the most time in space, over 665 days (and counting), as well as the record for most spacewalks (10) by a woman.

She now serves as the Director of Human Space Flight of Axiom Space, adding to her accomplishment as the first female commander of the ISS, the only woman to serve as ISS commander twice, and the first female, nonmilitary chief of NASA’s Astronaut Office.

Peggy Whitson’s connection to Graceland goes back decades. The Beaconsfield, Iowa, native once took summer classes at Graceland and has returned to campus to speak to students about her experiences. Several items she donated can be found in a display case in Resch Science & Technology Hall on the Lamoni campus. Her career in space and science is an inspiring reminder to dream big, work hard, and keep reaching for the stars!

Do you know of any other cool stories or facts? Share them with us: graceland.edu/classnotes

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