NASA astronaut Jeff Williams logged his 521st day in orbit on Wednesday, shattering the previous record of 520 days spent in space set by astronaut Scott Kelly
Astronaut Jeffrey Williams just sets new record for most time spent in space.
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The commander of the International Space Station completed his 521st day in the orbit on Wednesday and set the new record for most days spent in space by an American, eclipsing the 520-day record set by star astronaut Scott Kelly earlier this year. So, it is the second time in less than one year when a NASA astronaut has broken U.S. record for most cumulative days in space.
The astronaut accumulated those numbers over four flights and will have a total of 534 days by the time he ends his latest half-year long mission in September.
The 58-year old astronaut was selected by NASA in 1996 while he embarked on his first trip to the ISS in May 2000. The astronaut’s ongoing mission was started on March 18, 2016 and is scheduled to end to on September 6.
“It is an honor to spend any day in space and certainly, to have accumulated that time is truly an honor for me. “Williams said in an interview earlier this year.
Jeff Williams’ record will not last long. It will be broken again when veteran astronaut Peggy Whitson will fly to the space station in November. She has already spent 377 days in space and this six-month stint will take her ahead of Jeff Williams. The overall record for cumulative days in space is held by Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who logged 878 days in orbit over his five missions.
Scott Kelly, the previous record holder and now retired from NASA, congratulates Jeff Williams on breaking his record of 520 total days in space.
"It's great to see another record broken," Kelly radioed. "But I do have one question for you. And my question is: You got another 190 days in you?"
Williams replied, "That question's not for me, that's for my wife." He thanked Kelly for accepting the one-year stint "so I didn't have to.”
Jeff Williams is currently placed at 17th position and will move up to 14th on the list of the world’s most experienced astronauts and cosmonauts as soon as he returns to earth in September.