Astronaut Christina Koch has her mission on the International Space Station (ISS) extended to 328 days, which would set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, according to the US space agency said. Koch, who arrived at the space station on March 14, and now is scheduled to remain in orbit until February 2020, will eclipse the record of 288 days set by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2016-17. Her long stay on the ISS has to do with NASA’s preparation of human missions to the Moon and Mars. Koch’s mission will provide researchers the opportunity to observe effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman, NASA said.
Christina Koch’s stay will help better understand astronaut adaptability over long periods of space exposure. Koch’s stay on the space station will eclipse the previous mark set by Peggy Whitson of 288 days on Expeditions 50 through 52 in 2016-17, NASA said.
Koch and fellow NASA astronaut Nick Hague, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin will remain aboard the space station and begin Expedition 60.
Koch has worked in the space science instrument development and remote scientific field engineering fields. During her time working as an Electrical Engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre’s Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics, she contributed to scientific instruments on several NASA missions that studied astrophysics and cosmology.
Christina Koch has won a number of awards during her tenure at NASA and Johns Hopkins, including the NASA Group Achievement Award, NASA Juno Mission Jupiter Energetic Particle Detector Instrument, 2012.