Record-breaking astronaut Peggy Whitson returned to Earth on Saturday, cementing her position in the annals of history. Cosmopolitan reports that Whitson's latest journey into orbit marks 665 days in space, with 288 earned on her most recent mission alone, and puts her in the top spot when it comes to American astronauts and all female space travelers worldwide.
Cosmo notes that Whitson, who is a biochemist, repeatedly asked for more missions after her first, racking up three total trips to the International Space Station — one of which included her becoming the very first woman to command the station — and earning her the reputation as one of the most badass people in space. Not only did she conduct tons of scientific research, sending so much data back to Earth that the staff said it was difficult to keep up with her, she managed to find time to add something extra to freeze-dried space food. According to the Associated Press, Whitson developed a recipe to turn tortillas into a makeshift apple pie.
Whitson, along with one American astronaut and one Russian cosmonaut, landed in Kazakstan in the Soyuz capsule late on Saturday night (U.S. time). After the capsule settled, she received a bouquet of flowers and a very deserved hero's welcome.
In addition to her record-setting time in space, she earned a slew of other records, becoming the oldest woman in space at 57; the woman with the most spacewalks, ever, at 10; and nabbed the no. 8 spot on the list of most time logged in space overall.
Randy Bresnik, the new commander of the International Space Station, called Whitson an "American space ninja" before she departed. Cementing her place in our hearts, Whitson said that she's most looking forward to reuniting with actual pizza and her husband (a fellow biochemist), not necessarily in that order.