Congrats to US astronaut Christina Koch for breaking the women's space mission record

Christina Koch has come back down to Earth after a record 328 days in space—the longest mission of any female astronaut in history.


Koch touched down on an icy steppe in Kazakhstan on February 6. She will now make her way to NASA headquarters in Houston, Texas, where she will undergo medical testing. Seeing how Koch's body fared in space for nearly 11 months will inform current plans for a manned mission to Mars. It has been proven that staying in a microgravity environment for long periods of time leads to bone and muscle loss, and researchers have been working on ways to mitigate those effects for long space missions.

RELATED: 15 breathtaking images from space, made possible by NASA.

According to CNN, Koch spent much of her time in space conducting experiments. She also completed six space walks during her mission, including the first all-female space walk with fellow NASA astronaut Jessica Meir. (In case you missed it, that much-anticipated space walk had to be temporarily postponed due to not having the proper sized space suits for the two women. The walk was completed successfully in October 2019.)

The previous space mission record for a woman was 289 days, set by U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2017.

Koch says there are some thing she will miss about being in space. "Sleep in space has been some of the most restful I've ever had—no hotspots, no tossing, no turning, never too hot or too cold," she said, according to CNN. "I just float in my body's natural position. How will I sleep when I return to Earth?"

It will take time to readjust to the weight of her own body and to objects dropping to the ground again. However, there are definitely things Koch is looking forward to experiencing again. Before ending her mission, she said:

"Oh, how I miss the wind on my face, the feeling of raindrops, sand on my feet, and the sound of the surf crashing on the Galveston beach. We take daily sensory inputs for granted until they are absent. The environmental inputs on the space station consist mostly of the constant hum of the ventilation system. It stirs the air, allowing the purification system to scrub and clean our atmosphere so it's breathable. While some places on the space station are as loud as a lawn mower, others are as quiet as the vacuum of space. I cannot wait to feel and hear Earth again."

RELATED: Woman breaks down how astronauts pee and poop in space in viral thread

NASA shared a video of Christina emerging from her space capsule and getting her first glimpse of Earth from the ground in almost a year:

www.youtube.com

Welcome home, Christina Koch! We salute you as a space trailblazer and an inspiring example for young female scientists everywhere.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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Photo by Tod Perry

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