NASA astronaut Christina Koch and crew return safely to Earth

NASA astronaut Christina Koch returned to Earth this week after setting a record for the longest single space flight in female history. Christina Koch and crew members Alexander Skvortsov and Luca Parmitano both returned to Earth aboard the Soyuz MS-13 capsule. The crew left the International Space Station at 12:50 a.m. EST and landed safely at 4:12 a.m. southeast of the remote Kazakh town of Dzhezkazgan.

Christina Koch’s long mission allowed researchers to observe the impact of long-term space flights on women. This is important because NASA plans to send humans back to the moon in the next few years through Artemis. NASA is also preparing for human exploration of Mars.

Christina Koch boards nasamen Nick Hague and Russian astronaut Alexey Ovchinin on March 14, 2019. She spent 328 days on the International Space Station (ISS), the longest female mission in space.

Christina Koch orbited the Earth 5,248 times and circumnavigated 139 million miles. During her 11 months on the space station, she has carried out six spacewalks, including the first three all-female spacewalks. She spent a total of 42 hours and 15 minutes outside the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch and crew return safely to Earth