Three astronauts will return home from the International Space Station this evening, including a record-breaking crew member who spent nearly a year in space. NASA astronaut Christina Koch, who set the record for the longest continuous space flight for a woman and completed the first female solo spacewalk in history, is returning to Earth.
Koch is returning with European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Skvortsov, who has lived at the station since July. Tonight, the trio will climb into the Russian Soyuz capsule docked at the International Space Station and then make a three-hour journey home.
Since landing on the International Space Station last March, Christina Koch has conducted many scientific experiments on the isse. These studies include studying the behavior of flame sofority in microgravity and how protein crystals grow in space. She herself has been the focus of experiments, helping NASA understand how the human body has changed in space over time.
Christina Koch spent 328 days in space, and the data will help NASA study possible changes in the body production of astronauts on future long-term missions to Mars.