NASA astronaut returns to Earth after longest stay in space by woman
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U.S. astronaut Christina Koch on Thursday landed in Kazakhstan after 328 days in space, concluding the longest-ever mission by a woman.

“I’m just so overwhelmed and happy right now,” Koch said after touching down with European astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, Reuters reported.

Koch broke the previous record held by NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who spent 289 days in space and still holds the record for cumulative days in space for any American, with 665 days.


The International Space Station hailed Koch's return, noting the record and including a video compilation of her experiences onboard.

Koch was also part of NASA’s first all-female spacewalk with Jessica Meir last October.

Her mission is expected to offer further insight on the effects of weightlessness and extraterrestrial radiation on women’s bodies, which NASA will use as part of broader research into the ramifications of building a long-term space station on the moon over the next decade, the news service reports.

After 340 days in orbit, U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly, now a Democratic Senate candidate in Arizona, experienced numerous physical changes such as thickening of the retina and carotid artery and slight cognitive impairment.