NASA astronaut Sunita Williams on Wednesday (Sept. 5) broke the world record for the most time spacewalking by a woman.
Williams, who was two hours and 12 minutes into her second ISS Expedition 32 spacewalk working outside the International Space Station (ISS), surpassed the career total of 39 hours and 46 minutes set by Peggy Whitson in 2008.
"Suni, congratulations on being the female world record holder of the most EVA time. It's an honor to hand off the record to someone as talented as you," Peggy Whitson said in a message that was read to Williams by Mission Control. "You go girl."
"Well thanks," Williams radioed in reply. "It's a matter of circumstance, time and place. Anybody could be in these big boots."
Wednesday's spacewalk, which lasted 6 hours and 28 minutes, was Williams sixth extravehicular activity (EVA). In addition to her first ISS Expedition 32 spacewalk last week, she also completed three EVAs during Expedition 14 and one during STS-116 in 2006.
Whitson's record was also set over six spacewalks.
Williams, whose career total is now 44 hours and 2 minutes, now ranks 13th on the worldwide list of all spacewalkers, among both men and women. The overall world record was set in 1998 by cosmonaut Anatoli Soloviyov, who logged a career total of 69 hours, 42 minutes over the course of 14 spacewalks.