NASA Astronaut Christina Koch breaks not just one but THREE records, as she concluded her 11-month space mission in the International Space Station (ISS) on February 6 (GMT). The Russian Soyuz spacecraft that carried Koch landed in Kazakhstan.
Spending 328 days in the ISS, she surpassed Peggy Whitson’s 289-day record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman. She has also beaten the records of male Russian astronauts Yury Romanenko and Sergei Krikalev who previously held the 5th and 6th longest spaceflights, respectively.
"For me, it was important to see people that I saw a reflection of myself in, growing up when I was envisioning what I could do with my life and what my dreams might be. To maybe be that source of inspiration for someone else is just such an honor," Koch told reporters on February 4 (GMT) while still in space.
After landing, she expressed her thanks with a tweet that received around 27,000 likes and responses that welcomed her back and praised her for being an inspiration to not just women but also to everyone who dreams.
Koch's mission aims to help NASA's study on the medical effects of long-term spaceflights as NASA prepares to send astronauts to the moon again.
It's not the first time that Koch has set a space record for female astronauts. In October 2019, Koch, along with Jessica Mier, performed the first-ever all-female spacewalk to repair a faulty battery charger outside the space station.
Follow Sheila on Instagram.