NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson became the oldest woman to fly into space on Thursday, when she and two other astronauts launched to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz rocket. Whitson, 56, beat out the former record holder, Barbara Morgan, who flew into space at the age of 55 in 2007. Whitson also became the first woman to ever assume control of the ISS for a second time — in 2007, when Whitson first took control of the space station, she became the first woman ever to do so.
Joining Whitson on the launch are Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space agency. In his first trip to space, Pesquet became just the 10th person from France to leave Earth’s gravity.
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