She’s defying gravity!
Astronaut Christina Koch is on schedule to spend 11 months at the International Space Station (ISS) and will set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.
While astronauts normally stay on ISS for six months, NASA recently made schedule changes that will enable Koch’s historic mission.
By the end of her tour in February 2020, Koch will have spent 328 days in space, which is 40 days more than previous record holder Peggy Whitson’s 288 consecutive days at the station.
Unfortunately, Koch will fall short of the longest single spaceflight by a NASA astronaut, an honor held by Scott Kelly’s 340-day trip.
Koch has been at the space station since March 14th and shared her excitement about the extended mission on Twitter.
"One month down. Ten to go,” Koch wrote. “Today the possibility has become reality: My mission is planned to be extended through a third Expedition onboard @Space_Station! Privileged to contribute my best every single day of it.
Part of the reasoning for extending Koch’s trip is to study the effects of spaceflights longer than six months, since NASA is eyeing future missions to the moon and Mars.
Back in March, Koch was set to make history for being a part of the first all-female spacewalk alongside fellow astronaut Anne McClain.
But that mission had to be canceled due to a sizing issue with available spacesuits. Instead, Koch completed the spacewalk with male astronaut Nick Hague.