The first Iowa woman in space got a long-distance call Monday — and a promotion. Mount Ayr native Peggy Whitson floated aboard the International Space Station in June as a flight engineer. In a satellite-call with the head of NASA, she was given the title of Science Officer, the station’s first. NASA spokesman Kyle Herring says Whitson deserves the new title. Whitson has degrees in chemistry and biology from Iowa Wesleyan College and Rice University in Houston. Herring says Whitson is running experiments aboard the station including: human life sciences, microgravity, space product development and the long-term effects of being in orbit. He says it’s a step forward as the space station continues to be built. Whitson’s mission aboard the I-S-S, orbiting 240 miles above the earth, is scheduled to run through late fall.
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