Advertisement

NASA astronaut returns to Earth after longest-ever female spaceflight

A NASA astronaut has returned to Earth after the longest mission to space any woman has ever comp...
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

12.50 6 Feb 2020


Share this article


NASA astronaut returns to Eart...

NASA astronaut returns to Earth after longest-ever female spaceflight

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

12.50 6 Feb 2020


Share this article


A NASA astronaut has returned to Earth after the longest mission to space any woman has ever completed.

41-year-old Christina Koch spent 328 days on the International Space Station before touching down in Kazakhstan just after 9am this morning.

Her mission saw her orbiting the planet 5,248 times and racking up a mileage that could have taken her to the Moon and back 291 times.

Advertisement

She also took part in the first-ever all-female spacewalk - spending seven hours outside the station carrying out repairs last October.

Speaking to reporters just after touching down she said she was โ€œso overwhelmed and happy right now.โ€

Her mission saw her taking part in 210 investigation aimed at supporting plans to return humans to the moon and prepare for a manned mission to Mars.

It provided scientists with insights into how the human body adjusts to weightlessness, isolation, radiation and the stress of long-duration spaceflight.

She took part in six spacewalks during her mission, spending 42 hours and 15 minutes outside the station

NASA said it has increased its focus on long-duration missions in recent years to test the effects on both male and female astronauts.

Ms Kochโ€™s mission was just 12 days short of the all-time US record set by Scott Kelly in 2016; however, the all-time record is held by Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov who spent 437 days on-board the Mir space station in the mid-nineties.

The previous female record was set by US astronaut Peggy Whitson who spent 328 on the ISS.

Ms Koch returned to Earth alongside ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov.


Share this article


Read more about

Astronaut Christina Koch ESA ISS NASA Space Station

Most Popular