Life in the Universe

Living in Space

How long have humans lived on the International Space Station?

The record for the longest time spent by any woman in space is held by American astronaut Dr. Peggy Whitson (1960-), who has spent just over 376 days in space. The longest single continuous stay in space by a woman was 195 days. This was achieved by American astronaut Sunita Williams (1965-) from December 2006 to June 2007, aboard the International Space Station.

The ISS has been continuously inhabited by at least two people since November 2, 2000. The plan is for ISS to remain operational—and thus likely inhabited—until at least 2020. Astronauts and cosmonauts from more than a dozen nations have visited ISS, as well as the first-ever “space tourists”—civilians who have paid a fee to ride a rocket up to the station, spend some time onboard doing simple tasks, and then ride back down again. On August 10, 2003, a cosmonaut even got married on the ISS. He exchanged vows with his bride while he was in orbit over New Zealand and she was on the ground in Texas.


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