This Is the Face of a Woman Who Just Set a Space Record

US astronaut Christina Koch 'happy' to be home after 328 days
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2020 5:56 AM CST
Longest Female Spaceflight Is Complete
It looks like Christina Koch is happy to be home.   (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) – Christina Koch just made space history. The US astronaut completed the longest-ever single spaceflight by a woman when a Russian Soyuz spacecraft carried her, European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano, and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov back to Earth—central Kazakhstan, specifically—early Thursday. Koch spent 328 days on the International Space Station—and 42 hours, 15 minutes outside of it—beating the 289-day record set by American Peggy Whitson, who retains the record for total time spent in space by a woman, per the BBC.

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Koch was actually just 12 days shy of the all-time US record set by Scott Kelly. "I'm so overwhelmed and happy right now," she told reporters after touching down. In a live talk from the ISS on Tuesday, she described "the honor I feel to follow in the footsteps of my heroes," adding she hoped she could be a "source of inspiration for someone else." CNN digs into all the "weird science" she was involved with during her time in space, noting she was able to "taste test fresh Mizuna mustard greens grown on the station." (She also made history taking part in the first women-only spacewalk.)

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