Christina Koch, an astronaut with NASA, has returned to planet Earth after successfully completing the longest-even single spaceflight by a woman.
Koch, who is 41 years –old, touched down in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft in Kazakhstan at around 9:12 am this morning.
Koch, an American, spent 328 days in space.
From inside the @Space_Station, @astro_luca snapped these #spacewalk photos, capturing a moment of teamwork that I will never forget. Halfway through another power channel of battery changes and looking forward to finishing up next week! pic.twitter.com/stZCsnyPNJ
— Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) January 16, 2020
The strip surpassed Peggy Whitson’s previous record of 288 days and fell just 12 days short of all-time US record set by Scott Kelly, who spent 340 days onboard the ISS (International Space Station).
Koch shared a picture of Earth taken before she returned to solid ground and spoke about what she will miss from her trip.
Koch said, “What will I miss? The exquisite beauty of both the planet Earth and this marvel that its amazing people created.”
During her time on the ISS, Koch made history by taking part in the first-ever all-female spacewalk.
— Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) October 20, 2019
She did the spacewalk with Jessica Meir, a fellow NASA astronaut.
She completed a total of 6 spacewalks, which includes 2 with Meir.
Koch spent 42 hours and 15 minutes outside the International Space Station.
Talking about her first spacewalk with Meir in October last year, Koch said, “We caught each other’s eye and we knew that we were really honored with this opportunity to inspire so many, and just hearing our voices talk to Mission Control, knowing two female voices had never been on the loops, solving those problems together outside – it was a really special feeling.”
After touching down on Earth, Koch said she was extremely happy and overwhelmed with the fact that she’s back.
Koch spent a lot of time in space conducting experiments and investigations.
What will I miss? The exquisite beauty of both the planet Earth and this marvel that its amazing people created. pic.twitter.com/VWIFXuJMTp
— Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) February 5, 2020
She was also taking part in the Vertebral Strength Investigation, which focused on developing countermeasures to bone and muscle loss caused by the lack of gravity.
Koch was also involved in the Kidney Cells Investigation, which is another study conducted to see the health issues humans would face in space.
The Microgravity Crystals Investigation, where she crystallized a protein that is key for the growth of tumors and cancer, and a number of plant biology studies.
Koch arrived at the space station on March 14, 2019, and was the first of her fellow astronauts to go through the hatch.
Talking about that moment, Koch said, “That was the day that I have seared in my memory. Visions from when I first arrived here… I’m very privileged to have that as one of my favorite memories.”
Thank you Koch, you’re an inspiration to a lot of your girls and women out there.