More impressed with you than politicians, says Donald Trump to record-breaking astronaut Peggy Whitson!
American astronaut and current commander of the International Space Station (ISS) Peggy Whitson, officially set the US record for most cumulative days in space on Monday.
To congratulate Whitson on her achievement, US President Donald Trump, joined by his daughter and close advisor Ivanka Trump and American astronaut Kate Rubins, made a call from the Oval Office to the space station.
As per a NASA tweet, at 1:27 am ET on April 24, Whitson officially broke astronaut Jeff William's record of 534 days in space.
During the 20-minute special 'Earth-to-space' call, Trump spoke at length with Whitson, who was joined by a visibly excited space first-timer, astronaut Jack Fischer.
The conversation started off by Trump congratulating Peggy Whitson, to which she replied saying that it's a great honour.
With Trump signing a new legislation last month adding human exploration of Mars to NASA's mission, Whitson was also asked about the Mars schedule and when could they see a manned probe to the Red Planet. The astronauts explained how so much was going on to make the Mars mission possible and how new equipment were being built to see the mission through.
Jack Fischer, meanwhile, joked with Trump on his first time in space, saying that it was 'cool' how he was speaking to the President of the United States while hanging from a wall in the ISS.
Other things that became a topic of conversation between the astronauts and Trump were the experiments that were being carried out in space and what they were learning, to the President asking them what a typical day aboard the ISS looked like and Fischer referring to Peggy Whitson as a 'space ninja'.
The astronauts concluded their exchange with the US President with their trademark zero-gravity somersault.
Whitson already was the world's most experienced spacewoman and female spacewalker and, at 57, the oldest woman in space. By the time she returns to Earth in September, she'll have logged 666 days in orbit over three flights.