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NASA’s Christina Koch just broke a record for women in space

Published Dec 30th, 2019 6:03PM EST
christina koch
Image: NASA

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NASA’s Christina Koch hasn’t been on Earth since March 14th, 2019. That day, Koch joined fellow NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Aleksey Ovchinin of Roscosmos on a trip to the International Space Station. During her already impressive stint in space, Koch participated in the first-ever all-female spacewalk, and now she has another feather in her cap.

Thanks to some changes in the schedule of astronauts coming and going to the International Space Station, Koch has had the opportunity to stay aboard the orbiting laboratory much longer than NASA initially anticipated. As of Saturday, she has spent over 288 days in a row in space, which is another record for women in space.

The previous record-holder was NASA’s Peggy Whitson, who served as Station Commander on the International Space Station, but Koch’s stay in space is still far from over. Koch still has a couple of months left before she’ll be returning to Earth, and by the time her mission has wrapped, she’ll have spent a whopping 328 days in space.

NASA’s female astronauts have played just as big of a role in the advancement of the space program as their male counterparts, and the upcoming Artemis missions are sure to include more broken records and “firsts.” NASA intends to return to the Moon by 2024, with crewed missions including both male and female astronauts.

There has never been a woman astronaut on the Moon. NASA’s Apollo missions were comprised entirely of male space travelers, and that will most certainly not be the case during the Artemis trips. Last week, we got our first look at the astronaut candidates that will likely be participating in those groundbreaking missions.