Home / Science / Astronaut Peggy Whitson Comes ‘Home’ in ‘One Strange Rock’ Finale

Astronaut Peggy Whitson Comes ‘Home’ in ‘One Strange Rock’ Finale

NASA wanderer Peggy Whitson has spent some-more time in space than any other U.S. wanderer in history. From flourishing adult on a plantation in Iowa’s smallest city to vital and operative during a International Space Station (ISS), Whitson has called many places home. But if we ask her where her home is now, a answer is simple: “planet Earth.”

In a final partial of “One Strange Rock,” that front tonight (May 28) on a National Geographic Channel, Whitson talks about what it was like to leave a ISS for a final time, carrying spent a sum of 665 days in space via her career as an astronaut. The episode, patrician “There’s No Place Like Home,” shows Whitson and her dual Soyuz crewmates — NASA wanderer Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin — vacating a orbiting laboratory and returning to Earth with a fiery, high-speed thrust into a atmosphere. 

The culmination also facilities disdainful videos from inside a ISS filmed by Paolo Nespoli, a European Space Agency wanderer incited videographer who shot scenes for a documentary array during his time in orbit. Nespoli’s footage depicts a day in a life of Whitson on a ISS, including scenes of her weightlessly zipping around a space station, brushing her teeth and gazing out a huge Cupola window. [In Photos: Record-Breaking Astronaut Peggy Whitson Returns to Earth]

Space.com spoke with Whitson about what it was like to lapse home after her historic, record-breaking goal during a ISS — and how spending so most time in space altered her viewpoint on what she considers to be her home. 

“Home for me when we was flourishing adult was, of course, a plantation [in Beaconsville, Iowa] and a tiny village around it,” Whitson told Space.com. After starting propagandize during Iowa Wesleyan College, “home became a small bit bigger, since it stretched to a other side of a state,” she said. “Then we left Iowa and went to Texas” to work during NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where she deliberate a whole state her home, she said. “I started roving to Russia a lot, and so home became a United States of America, though we consider once we left a planet, home was star Earth. So, we consider it’s all about perspective.”

NASA wanderer Peggy Whitson prepares to enter a neutral irresolution pool during NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston for spacewalk training.
Credit: National Geographic

Whitson is not a usually wanderer to feel this approach about Earth. Throughout a “One Strange Rock” series, a 8 astronauts talked about how saying Earth from space has altered their perspectives about where they come from. This psychological materialisation is common among space travelers and is mostly referred to as “the overview effect.” From space, astronauts don’t see borders between nations. Instead, they see a singular and pleasing star where all vital things share a special tie by their common start — and a star where life has had a conspicuous impact on a geological features

“In my initial flight, we consider what unequivocally astounded me is only how skinny a atmosphere is,” Whitson told Space.com. “It looks unequivocally delicate, and we came divided from my initial moody with this new appreciation of how we’re all pity a same air, we’re all pity a same planet, and we need to take caring of it,” she said. “There was unequivocally a new appreciation for what a star does for us.”

Although she has no skeleton to lapse to space (she has already damaged a record for a oldest womanlike astronaut during age 57), Whitson pronounced she would adore to go behind for a goal to a moon, Mars or maybe even a habitable exoplanet, if given a opportunity. When it comes to visitor worlds, she is confident that humans will one day find life elsewhere in a universe. 

“Looking out into space and saying thousands and thousands of stars and noticing that all these stars are in a galaxy, and there’s indeed billions and billions of galaxies— positively by perfect numbers we consider there will be life out there,” Whitson said. “It may not demeanour a same as us or be formed on a same beliefs as us, though we’ll find it.”

Earth will always be a best place for a bodies to tarry and thrive, and living on another planet positively wouldn’t be easy. But Whitson pronounced she would adore to continue vital in a weightless sourroundings like a ISS. “The floating, a sleeping, only being in 0 sobriety — it’s so most easier to move. My joints don’t pain scarcely as most adult there,” Whitson told Space.com. “I adore being in space. That zero-gravity partial is unequivocally nice. Gravity sucks.”

Don’t skip Whitson on a array culmination tonight of “One Strange Rock,” that front on a National Geographic Channel during 10 p.m. EDT/PDT (9 p.m. CDT).

Email Hanneke Weitering during hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original essay on Space.com.

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