NASA’s Christina Koch returned to Earth safely on 6th February after spending a record 328 days in space. With this stupendous achievement, she shattered the previous record set for a single spaceflight by a woman of 289 days set by NASA veteran Peggy Whitson in 2016-17. She blasted off on 14th March last year.
She also now holds the record of being an astronaut with the second-longest stay in space, only behind Scott Kelly, who spent 340 days in space.
She touched down on the Kazakh steppe in a Soyuz capsule after around 11 months aboard the International Space Station. She returned to Earth along with Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency.
She smiled and gave a thumbs up as the support crew helped her descend of the capsule.
Born on 29th January 1979 and a native of Michigan, Koch was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 2013 and completed astronaut training a couple of years later in 2015.
She put up a message on social media, thanking everyone for their support in her mission.
This journey has been everyone’s journey. Thank you to all involved in the success of our mission, and for giving me the opportunity to carry everyone’s dreams into space. I’m filled with gratitude to be back on the planet! pic.twitter.com/Mo2pk152vv
— Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) February 6, 2020
Her tour included a massive 5,248 orbits of the Earth. She also completed six spacewalks during her stay, including the first ever spacewalk involving all women with her fellow astronaut Jessica Meir. She spent much of her time doing a wide range of experiments and investigations.
She will now head to the headquarters of NASA, where she will be subjected to regular medical procedures and then head home to Houston.
She was congratulated by a host of people on social media, including Buzz Aldrin, the second human to land on the moon.
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) February 6, 2020
The first woman in space was Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova whose spaceflight in 1963 is still the only solo mission carried out by a woman.
A big congratulations to Koch from Team Newsum, and we hope she continues to inspire people across the world.
Aren’t such women truly inspirational? What do you think? Do let us know your views in the comments section below.