Astronaut Christina Koch returned to Earth after setting a record for 328 days in space, the longest spaceflight by a human female. Scott Kelly holds the record for an American astronaut at 340 days in space. Koch holds the second place record for an American in space. Valeri Vladimirovich Polyakov holds the overall record for any human in space at 437 days, 18 hours in space at a single stay, aboard the Mir space station.
The Russian Soyuz MS-13 space capsule returned to Kazakhstan on February 6, 2020.
Biological data from Ms. Koch’s space mission will be used to help NASA prepare long-term missions including the return to the Moon under the Artemis program, and the controversial Space Force, as well as an eventual manned Mars mission.
NASA reported that Koch’s tour included 5,248 orbits of the Earth aboard the ISS, 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 also spent quite a bit of time outside the station, completing six spacewalks, including the record-setting first ever spacewalk involving all women with fellow astronaut Jessica Meir – and two more all-women spacewalks after that.
From Kazakhstan, Koch will proceed to Cologne, Germany, where she and her colleague Luca Parmitano will part ways. Colonel Parmitano, an Italian engineer, will report to the European Space Agency. Mrs. Koch will go on to Houston, Texas, where she will be reunited with her husband, Robert Koch.
Christina H. Koch has two bachelor’s degrees, one in physics and one in electrical engineering, and a master’s degree in engineering.