Every day for the next six weeks, NASA astronaut Christina Koch will be setting a new women’s record for continuous time in space.

  • Koch’s extended stint on the International Space Station follows up on astronaut Scott Kelly’s “Year in Space” mission in 2015-2016, and is similarly aimed at studying the health effects of long-duration spaceflight. She arrived in March, and marked her 288th day in orbit on Saturday. That officially surpassed the women’s record set by Peggy Whitson in 2017.
  • Koch is also in the space history books for being part of the world’s first all-woman spacewalking team in October, along with Jessica Meir. When her mission extension was announced, back in April, Koch said she sought advice from Whitson — and was told to “find what you love, and make sure you have it up there.” (Maybe that’s a reference to space cookies for Christmas?)
  • By the time Koch makes her scheduled return to Earth in February, her record will have been extended to 328 days. That’s less than two weeks shy of Kelly’s 340-day stay, which stands as the U.S. single-flight endurance record. For what it’s worth, Soviet cosmonaut Valery Polyakov set the world record in 1995 with nearly 438 full days.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here