Next stop Earth for NASA’s space champ

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Member of the main crew of the 50/51 expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), US astronaut Peggy Whitson looks on in her space suit at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Baikonur, prior to blasting off to the International Space Station (ISS) late on November 17. The International crew of France's astronaut Thomas Pesquet, Russia's cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and US astronaut Peggy Whitson are scheduled to blast off to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur cosmodrome early on November 18 local time. (Photo credit KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla —  NASA all-time space champ Peggy Whitson is back on Earth after a record-breaking flight.

Whitson and two other astronauts landed in Kazakhstan late Saturday, U.S. time. Their Russian Soyuz capsule undocked from the International Space Station just hours earlier.

Altogether, Whitson has spent 665 days in orbit, more than any other American. Her just-concluded mission lasted 288 days. She became the world’s oldest spacewoman and most experienced female spacewalker following her launch last November. She also was the first woman to command the space station twice. This was her third flight.

Returning Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin has logged even more time in orbit: 673 days over five missions. Also back on solid ground is U.S. astronaut Jack Fischer after 136 days aloft. The men flew up in April.