NASA

NASA Astronaut Christina Koch Breaks Record For Longest Spaceflight By A Female

Science

NASA astronaut Christina Koch has set a record for spending maximum days by a female in a single spaceflight. She has now spent 289 consecutive days in the space. The record of spending maximum days in the space by a woman was earlier held by Peggy Whitson. The now-retired NASA astronaut’s first space mission was in 2002. The biochemistry researcher came back to Earth from the International Space Station after 288 days. She returned to Earth on September 3, 2017. She accrued a total of 665 days in space throughout her career. Koch is slated to come back on Earth in February 2020. By that time, the 40 years old American electrical engineer will complete more than 300 days in the orbital laboratory in low Earth orbit.

Koch makes observations from the International Space Station’s Cupola, a European Space Agency built observatory module. Koch has another record to her name. In October 2019, Koch was part of the first all-female spacewalk. Koch and fellow astronaut Jessica Meir ventured out of the ISS for the first all-women spacewalk to replace a failed power controller. It was watched around the world as they replaced the battery charge-discharge unit. NASA claimed that it was the first time that all spacewalkers were women and the 43rd spacewalk to include women. For Koch, it was the fourth spacewalk.

An electrical engineer for NASA, Koch worked on scientific instruments for the US space agency’s several missions. She became an astronaut in 2013. Reports suggest Koch is expected to take part in six spacewalks by the time she arrives back. Her February 2020 return means she will spend just 12 days less than the record of 340 days held by US astronaut Scott Kelly. The world record for the most time spent in space is held by Russian astronaut Gennady Padalka. He has spent 878 days in space. The American list is topped by Peggy Whitson who spent 665 days. She is followed by Jeggrey Williams who remained in the space for 534 days.

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