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Christina Koch has a(n out-of-this) world record in her future.
NASA on Wednesday (April 17) said that Koch, who launched to the International Space Station on March 14 for an expected six-month mission, will not return to Earth until Feb. 6, 2020. After 328 days in orbit, Koch will have logged the single longest spaceflight by a woman.
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"It feels awesome!" said Koch, reacting to the news from on board the space station in a video released by NASA. "I have known that this was a possibility for a long time and it is truly a dream come true to know that I can continue to work on the program that I have valued so highly my whole life."
Related: Most Extreme Human Spaceflight Records of All Time
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"To be able to contribute to that and give my best every day to that for as long as possible is a true honor and a dream come true," she said.
Koch's mission is planned to be just shy of the longest single spaceflight by a NASA astronaut — 340 days, set by former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly during his one-year mission from 2015 to 2016. Her mission will collect more data about the effects of long-duration spaceflight beyond those documented on the more typical six-month expeditions.
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It will also enable another record to occur — the first spaceflight by a United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut.
Koch will be part of three expeditions — 59, 60 and 61 — during her current first spaceflight. She arrived at the space station on Russia's Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft with cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin of Roscosmos and Nick Hague of NASA to join the Expedition 59 crew of Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos, NASA astronaut Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency.
Kononenko - McClain - Saint-Jacques - Earth
Kononenko, McClain and Saint-Jacques are scheduled to return to Earth...
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