Even in this generation, women are still so underrated and people still think that there are just things out there that only men can do. However, women from all over the world, from all shapes and sizes, are actually continuing to prove everyone wrong. Just like what Peggy Whitson did, which is why Glamour magazine named her as one of the “Women of the Year.” Whitson is actually an astronaut, and she is chosen to be one of the most influential women in the world. The list is actually filled with a wide range of women with different professions that are actually making a huge difference in the world, from sports to politics, to entertainment. According to Glamour’s editor-in-chief, Cindi Lieve, these women that are chosen are “wildly diverse change-makers” who actually reflect a “tumultuous and electric year for women.”
Other women who are on the list are actresses such as Nicole Kidman, United States Representative Maxine Waters, Syrian refugee Muzoon Almellehan, and television host Samantha Bee.
— Peggy Whitson (@AstroPeggy) October 30, 2017
WOMAN IN SPACE
Whitson may not be the very first woman to be an astronaut, but she is indeed the most experienced one. Her latest flight took more than 600 days in space, and during that flight, she managed to perform her 10th spacewalk and became the very first woman to ever command the space station more than once. At the age of 57, she broke the record of being the oldest woman in space who also became the very first female Chief of NASA’s Astronaut Office as a commander of the International Space Station. “After floating for nine and a half months in space, gravity the is not your friend,” she explained.
Peggy Whitson never actually imagined that she’d be able to say that she is indeed an astronaut. Born and raised on a farm in Iowa, she used to admire Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong when they became the first men to ever reach and walk the moon, which is considered as the biggest leap of mankind. But in 1978, NASA finally accepted female astronauts, so her dream is just right at her grasp. With her Ph.D. in biochemistry, she managed to land a position as a research associate in 1986 at the space agency.
However, it was too far from being easy, that is because she got rejected when she applied for the astronaut program over and over again and it actually took her more than 10 years and five attempts before she finally gets to live her dream and be an astronaut. Her very first lift off was on the Endeavor shuttle in 2002 for a six-month stay on the International Space Station, Whitson said that “The first time I went into space was just so much more than you could imagine or prepare yourself for. Zero gravity is such an alien environment, completely different from everything we’ve grown up with every single day of our lives. And it’s incomprehensible how much better it was than I anticipated it would be.”
ASTRONAUT WORK OUT
Most people think that astronauts are simply just floating around their space shuttles as if they’re balloons, little did they know that it is actually physically demanding because they actually need to use a huge amount of upper-body strength since they need to “walk” by actually pulling their body weight with the use of their hands as well as operate different tools and their pressurized space suit gloves.
Whitson even describes it as the most exhilarating part of the mission. “The view is just incredible. Being out there above the earth, I always think how delicate it looks. It gives me fantastic appreciation of how this planet is one and we need to take care of it,” she explained.
She also shared their routine, where every single day, they allot two hours to actually exercise to be able to prevent muscle and bone loss.
638 days in space and the view is still amazing! Soaking up some sunset time in the cupola… pic.twitter.com/AiReQzkjJZ
— Peggy Whitson (@AstroPeggy) August 6, 2017
Astronauts use a device where they are like weightlifting and they do this for over an hour a day. They also need to do another hour of cardio exercise which is why they have a treadmill, but the catch is that they need to wear a harness so that they wouldn’t keep on floating away, so the pressure on the shoulders as well as the hips are a lot, but they also have a bicycle ergometer which is what Whitson use the most.