‘American Space Ninja’ to be honored at WISS

Jonathan Russell Development Communications Specialist
Astronaut Peggy Whitson on the ISS

On May 16, 2019, in partnership with the Adler Planetarium Women’s Board, the Adler will host its annual Women in Space Science Award Celebration (WISS). This event honors women who make significant contributions to space science and pave the way for future generations in STEM. The Adler is proud to recognize former NASA chief astronaut Peggy A. Whitson, PhD, as the 2019 Women in Space Science Award recipient.

Dr. Peggy Whitson | 2019 Honoree at the Adler Planetarium's Women in Space Science Award Celebration
NASA chief astronaut Peggy A. Whitson, PhD

Dr. Whitson currently holds the U.S. space-endurance record with a total of 665 days in space. Throughout her career, she performed hundreds of experiments and completed ten spacewalks, more than any other woman in the history of space exploration. In 2007, Dr. Whitson became the first woman to command the International Space Station. Still our planet’s greatest achievement of international cooperation, the ISS has been continuously inhabited since 2000, making it some of the most crucial research in space science possible. Under Dr. Whitson’s command, crew members aboard ISS Expedition 51 searched for extremophile bacteria aboard the space station, measured the charges of cosmic rays, and studied the way foods react when freeze-dried in orbit.

If her many records and accomplishments weren’t enough to merit cooperation, we might look no further than the testimony of Dr. Whitson’s fellow astronauts. Former crewmate Randy Bresnik has described her as an “American Space Ninja.” Thomas Presquet of the European Space Agency has called her “the most hardworking and strong-willing person I’ve ever met.”

Dr. Whitson will join us in May for a keynote address and a conversation with Dr. Michelle Larson, the Adler’s president and CEO. Our entire community is excited to welcome her!


Header photo: Peggy Whitson on the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA

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Jonathan Russell Development Communications Specialist

Equal parts fundraiser, storyteller, and space enthusiast, Jonathan is the planetarium’s Development Communications Specialist. He spends his time writing narratives to illustrate the amazing work we do here at the museum and presents them to the Adler’s amazing family of donors and members. When he’s not on Museum Campus, Jonathan enjoys collecting books, watering his plants, and imagining alien planets (full of alien plants).

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