The Russian spacecraft carrying Iowa astronaut Peggy Whitson docked with the International Space Station this morning. Whitson will be floating aboard the station with her two crewmates soon, after the docking port is checked and re-checked.
Whitson will be staying aboard the station for six months and will be its first woman commander. She spent six months on the orbiting outpost in 2002 and becomes the first NASA astronaut to serve aboard the station twice.
Whitson, a Beaconsfield native, is the only Iowa woman to fly in space. Another astronaut with Iowa ties is already on board the space station to greet her. Clayton Anderson is a Nebraska native and is the first Iowa State University graduate to go into orbit. Anderson will be coming home early next month aboard the space shuttle Discovery, which is due for liftoff from Florida later this month.