Record-breaking astronaut Peggy Whitson added yet another feather to her cap on Monday by becoming the first US astronaut with the most cumulative time in space.
Expedition 48-49 backup crew member Peggy Whitson of NASA poses for a photograph as the Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft is rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, July 4, 2016. "I am so grateful for all those who helped me on each of my missions!" The 57-year old female astronaut stayed 534 days in space and beat the record of her colleague, Jeff William. To mark her accomplishment, she received a phone call from President Trump at 10 a.m. ET.
The President's daughter and close adviser, Ivanka Trump, also offered congratulations to Ms Whitson from the Oval Office.
"How does it feel to have broken such a big and important record?" the president asked. "That's an incredible record to break, and on behalf of our nation and frankly on behalf of the world, I'd like to congratulate you".
"We're excited about the Missions to Mars in the 2030s, and so we actually have hardware on the ground that's being built for the SLS rocket that's going to take us there", Whitson explained.
In response, Trump joked that he wants to see humans on Mars by the end of his second term at the latest. Is there a schedule?
Astronaut Peggy Whitson has broken the United States record for most time in space and talked up a trip to Mars during a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump.
Ms Whitson broke the NASA cumulative record set past year by astronaut Jeffrey Williams; Scott Kelly holds the United States record for consecutive days in space at 340.
"We also are cleaning up our urine and making it drinkable, and it's really not as bad as it sounds", she said, eliciting a smirk from Trump. The President replied that he wanted the endeavor to be done during his first, or "at worst", his second period, so it should speed up a little.