US astronaut to set women’s record for longest time in space


A NASA astronaut will set the women’s record for the longest time spent in space with the announced extension of her current trip.

NASA said astronaut Christina Koch will be on board a current flight, set to return in February, for about 11 months, according to The Associated Press.

Koch launched last month knowing she may be in space into 2020, and NASA officially announced the extension of her flight on Tuesday.

{mosads}Koch will officially break the 288-day record currently held by retired astronaut Peggy Whitson in December. She is expected to spend approximately 328 days in space, marking the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.

Koch said knowing she will be in space that long feels “awesome” and called it a “dream come true.”

“Christina’s extended mission will provide additional data for NASA’s Human Research Program and continue to support future missions to the Moon and Mars,” Jennifer Fogarty, chief scientist of the Human Research Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in a statement announcing Koch’s flight’s extension.

Her total trip will be a few days short of astronaut Scott Kelly’s 340 days. Kelly spent most of the time at the International Space Station performing tests on himself to measure what spending nearly a year in space does to the human body.

Tags NASA Spaceflight

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