After spending nearly 11 months in orbit, NASA astronaut Christina Koch, 41, has safely returned to Earth. Koch was part of the first-ever all-female spacewalk in October.
She returned with International Space Station Commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov. According to Fox News, her stay on the ISS set a spaceflight record for a female astronaut.
The trio touched down southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan in a Soyuz capsule. Koch spent 328 days on the International Space Station, allowing researchers to observe the effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman. “The study will have long-lasting effects since NASA has made it clear that it intends to return to the Moon with its Artemis program, which includes a female astronaut landing on the lunar surface,” said Fox News.
After nearly 11 months in orbit, NASA astronaut Christina Koch returns to Earth, setting a new record for the longest spaceflight by a woman. https://t.co/HkxOjtcI8Z
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 7, 2020
Koch said that she and her fellow NASA astronaut Jessica Meir appreciated that the October 18 spacewalk “could serve as an inspiration for future space explorers.”
According to Tech Crunch, per NASA, Koch’s tour included 5,248 orbits of the Earth, with a total distance traversed of 139 million miles in terms of how far the Space Station traveled during its orbit while she was on board.
“Koch and her fellow returning space travelers all appeared to be in good shape upon landing, but will get the standard medical checks common for all returning astronauts before returning home,” reported Tech Crunch.
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