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Astronaut Jeffrey Williams Marks 521st Day In Space, A New U.S. Record

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- An astronaut has set a U.S. record for most time spent in space.

Jeffrey Williams, commander of the International Space Station, marked his 521st day in orbit Wednesday, a number accumulated over four flights. That surpasses the 520-day record set by Scott Kelly, whose one-year space station mission ended in March.

By the time Williams returns to Earth in two weeks, he will have logged 534 days off the planet for NASA. His record won't last long. Space station veteran Peggy Whitson will top that after she flies up in November for a six-month stay. She's already at the 377-day mark for total space time, a record for a woman.

On Aug. 19, Williams and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins took a spacewalk lasting roughly six hours in order to install one of two new international docking adapters at the International Space Station, NASA reported. Another spacewalk mission is planned for Sept. 1.

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Kelly, who's now retired from NASA, called Williams from Mission Control in Houston on Wednesday morning and offered congratulations.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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