WOMEN IN SPACE: Whitson Helps Mark Anniversary

Posted on: 10:39 am, July 15, 2013, by

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It’s been 50 years since the first woman went to space and 30 years since the first American woman made the journey.

Astronaut Peggy Whitson is back in her home state, sharing her stories from space.

“In the astronaut office, you have to prove that you’re competent at the job. And it doesn’t matter what color or sex or anything you are, you have to be able to do the job,” says Whitson.

She grew up on a farm near Mount Ayr and after graduate school got a job with NASA.

Whitson went on her first space mission in 2002. She’s one of just 55 women who have flown in space.

The astronaut has made two long duration missions and spent more than a year living on the International Space Station.

“It’s very special to get the opportunity to actually live there, to become adapted to it, to feel comfortable moving around in it and figuring out how to work in it,” says Whitson.

On Sunday, Whitson helped dedicate an exhibit at a senior living center in Marion, honoring 50 years of women in space.