US astronaut Peggy Whitson breaks record for most time spent in space, more than 534 days

US President Donald Trump congratulates Nasa astronaut Dr Peggy Whitson for breaking the 534-day record for cumulative time spent in space by a US astronaut.PHOTO: REUTERS
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson floats through a tangle of cables inside the Columbus module aboard the International Space Station (ISS), in space, on Dec 8, 2016.
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson floats through a tangle of cables inside the Columbus module aboard the International Space Station (ISS), in space, on Dec 8, 2016.PHOTO: EPA
The 57-year-old broke the previous record of 534 weeks on Monday (April 24), Singapore time. She received an earth-to-space congratulory call from the Oval Office, by US President Donald Trump.
The 57-year-old broke the previous record of 534 weeks on Monday (April 24), Singapore time. She received an earth-to-space congratulory call from the Oval Office, by US President Donald Trump.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK/NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) astronaut Peggy Whitson on Monday (April 24) set a new record for the most time spent in space by an American astronaut.

Ms Whitson, who has spent more than 76 weeks of her life floating in microgravity, surpassed the previous record of 534 days set by Jeff Williams, Nasa said.

Nasa went live on Monday (April 24) night Singapore time, showing Ms Whitson's special congratulatory call from US President Donald Trump on her record-breaking accomplishment.

He made the call, from the Oval Office to the International Space Station, accompanied by his daughter Ivanka Trump and Nasa astronaut Kate Rubins.

Ms Whitson, 57, has made history several times.

According to Nasa's tumblr, Ms Whitson was named the first Nasa Science Officer on the space station in 2002. This position was made specially to collaborate with the US research community to understand and meet the requirements and objectives of space station experiments.

The veteran astronaut was also the first woman to command the space station in 2008, when she headed Expedition 16.

On April 9 this year (2017), she became the first woman to command the station twice.

In 2009, she achieved the most senior position for active astronauts: Chief of the Astronaut Office. She was the first woman and first non-pilot to snag this honour.

She also broke the record for most spacewalks and most time spent spacewalking by a female astronaut on March 30 this year.