289 days and counting: NASA astronaut sets record for longest single spaceflight by a woman
An astronaut from the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has officially broken the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman after reaching her 289th day in space.
Astronaut Christina Hammock Koch yesterday, Dec. 28, surpassed the previous record-holder, astronaut Peggy Whitson with 288 days, NASA announced on Facebook on the same day.
“It’s a new day. It’s a new dawn,” the space agency said. “Today, NASA Astronaut Christina Hammock Koch sets a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, eclipsing the record of 288 days set by former NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson. #CongratsChristina on reaching new heights!”
Koch was launched into space on March 14 as part of the Soyuz MS12 crew, and was supposed to stay at the International Space Station (ISS) for only around 6 months. Her stay was extended, and she is now set to go home on Feb. 6, 2020, setting her record to 328 days if followed.
If that is fulfilled, Koch’s record will be just 12 days short of the longest single spaceflight record set by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent 340 days from 2015 to 2016 in space.
Koch’s latest feat, however, is just the second of the two records she set during her current mission. She set her first record along with astronaut Jessica Meir by conducting the first-ever all-female spacewalk last October.
Whitson congratulated Koch for breaking her record through a video, which was posted by the ISS on Facebook earlier today, Dec. 29.
Koch graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Physics, and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. JB
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