Astronaut breaks record for most time in space by American

President Trump held a video conference with NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Monday, in part to congratulate Commander Peggy Whitson on her record-setting 535th day in space. By the time she returns to Earth in September, she'll have logged 666 days in orbit over three flights.

President Donald Trump joked with astronaut Peggy Whitson about her having to convert urine into a drinkable solution during a special call from the Oval Office on Monday.

In addition to her new time-in-orbit mark, Whitson has spent more than 53 hours outside an airlock, engaged in spacewalks that added modules to the space station, among other duties.

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"Well, it's actually a huge honor to break a record like this", Whitson said.

Commander of the International Space Station's Expedition 51 crew, Peggy Whitson officially set the USA record on Monday for most cumulative days in space, surpassing NASA astronaut Jeff Williams' record of 534 days.

Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who has spent 879 days on orbit in total, now holds the world record for the number of cumulative days in space.

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"We'll have to speed that up a little bit", Trump said of the Mars mission, apparently in jest, noting that he would like to see a human on the Red Planet in his the first or second term as president.

NASA has not launched an astronaut into space without the help of the Russians for the last five years, forcing the U.S.to pay Russia $71 million dollars per astronaut lifted to the ISS. He also said how proud he was of the work she and other astronauts do on the International Space Station.

He said he's more impressed by the astronauts than by any of the politicians he deals with in Washington. The date will depend on whether astronauts are on board for the test flight, which could hoist the new Orion capsule to the vicinity of the moon. Trump signed legislation in March authorizing NASA to send humans to Mars in 16 years.

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In the women's wheelchair victor , Manuela Schar of Switzerland followed up her Boston win on Monday with success in London. It's been tough, especially after Rio. "I don't know what the future holds but I do know I had to have another focus".

Whether or not it's 2024, and whether it's Mars or the moon, Trump has made clear how much he wants to see a dramatic space mission during his administration.

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