Astronaut breaks NASA record for time in space

Image: Jeff Williams
NASA astronaut Jeff Williams shows off mission patches from his spaceflights. (Credit: NASA)

Retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly may hold the U.S. record for most consecutive days in space, but he’s been surpassed by Jeff Williams, the International Space Station’s current commander, when it comes to total days in orbit.

Today Williams zoomed past Kelly’s 520-day cumulative record, and by the time his six-month stint on the space station ends on Sept. 6, he’ll have racked up 534 days in all.

Kelly called up his congratulations from Mission Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Texas.

“But I do have one question for you,” Kelly cracked, “and my question is, you got another 190 days in you?”

“One hundred and ninety days in me?” Williams replied. “That question is not for me. That’s for my wife.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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