Stacy Pratt
Updated Sep 05, 2017 @ 1:27 pm
Peggy Whitson
Credit: SERGEI ILNITSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Even after the best trip, it’s great to come home to your own bed, your own kitchen, your own…planet. That’s what record-breaking astronaut Peggy Whitson did over Labor Day weekend. On Saturday, the “American Space Ninja” bounced to Earth in a return capsule along with her colleagues, American astronaut Jack Fischer and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of Russia. When she landed, she cemented her most recent record: Whitson has spent more time in space than any other American astronaut, having accumulated 665 days in space over the course of her career.

On this trip to the International Space Station, she stayed for 288 days.

The trio landed in Kazakhstan. After medical testing, the American astronauts were flown home to Houston, which is still dealing with flooding after Hurricane Harvey.

In the same interview, Whitson said she will be glad to return to the land of pizza and “Flush toilets…Trust me. You don’t want to know the details.” (No, we do not!)

What will she miss most? “I know that I will hugely miss the freedom of floating and moving with the lightest of touch, especially those first few days after my return when gravity will especially SUCK.”

But even more than that, the space veteran says she “will miss seeing the enchantingly peaceful limb of our Earth from this vantage point. Until the end of my days, my eyes will search the horizon to see that curve.”

This may be her last space flight, but Whitson, a biochemist, said she will continue to work for the space program. She has repeatedly said that she wants attention focused on the space program’s achievements rather than her own record-breaking history, but she has words for those of us who can’t help but see her as a hero:

We know her inspiration will be part of that!