Astronaut Peggy Whitson Talks Life in Space from Miles Above Earth

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IOWA  --  Iowa astronaut Peggy Whitson is on her record-breaking run in space.

She says life on board the International Space Station is extraordinary, but the astronauts are not out of touch with their loved ones.

"Here in low Earth orbit, when we're going around the planet, 250 miles above the earth, 17,500 miles an hour, so once every 90 minutes we're going around the earth, and we can actually use an internet protocol phone because we have the appropriate satellites that can get those bandwidths down and we can call home from here," said Whitson. "So I talk to my husband pretty much every day, I talk to my parents and my family probably once a week."

Whitson has now racked up 541 cumulative days in space, more than any other NASA astronaut.

On Monday, she answered questions about life in space, saying her days are full of science experiments and maintenance. Right now, Whitson says they are growing cabbage on board. The crew also works out a couple hours a day to prevent bone and muscle loss.

When asked what she misses the most about Earth, Whitson laughed, "Not too much. My husband, that's about it, my family. I'm really at home up here, I love working up here, it's such a huge privilege and honor to be here. It's hard to get too much of this. It's not possible, I don't think, to get too much of it."

Whitson doesn't come back down to Earth until September, and said the first thing she wants to do then is eat a salad with lots of fresh vegetables.