At the age of 56, Iowa native Peggy Whitson is about to make history. Today, Whitson will be part of a mission to the international space station. While there, she'll celebrate her 57th birthday, making her the oldest woman to visit space.

This will be the third space station mission for Whitson, and her second as commander. She'll be joined by astronauts from France and Russia on the mission which will launch from Kazakhstan Thursday morning.

Whitson grew up in Beaconsfield, Iowa, a small town in the southwest part of the state.


[via KCRG]