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.

True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


Sir David Attenborough has one of the most recognized and beloved voices in the world. The British broadcaster and nature historian has spent most of his 94 years on Earth educating humanity about the wonders of the natural world, inspiring multiple generations to care about the planet we all call home.

And now, Attenborough has made a new name for himself. Not only has he joined the cool kids on Instagram, he's broken the record for reaching a million followers in the shortest period. It only took four hours and 44 minutes, which is less time than it took Jennifer Aniston, who held the title before him at 5 hours and 16 minutes.

A day later, Attenborough is sitting at a whopping 3.4 million followers. And he only has two Instagram posts so far, both of them videos. But just watch his first one and you'll see why he's attracted so many fans.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


There are very few people who have had quite as memorable a life as Arnold Schwarzenegger. His adult life has played out in four acts, with each one arguably more consequential than the last.

And now Schwarzenegger wants to play a role in helping America, his adopted home, ensure that our 2020 election is safe, secure and available to everyone willing and able to vote.

Shortly after immigrating to America, Schwarzenegger rose up to become the most famous bodybuilder in history, turning what was largely a sideshow attraction into a legitimate sport. He then pivoted to an acting career, becoming Hollywood's highest paid star in a run that spanned three decades.


Keep Reading Show less

One night in 2018, Sheila and Steve Albers took their two youngest sons out to dinner. Their 17-year-old son, John, was in a crabby mood—not an uncommon occurrence for the teen who struggled with mental health issues—so he stayed home.

A half hour later, Sheila's started getting text messages that John wasn't safe. He had posted messages with suicidal ideations on social media and his friends had called the police to check on him. The Albers immediately raced home.

When they got there, they were met with a surreal scene. Their minivan was in the neighbor's yard across the street. John had been shot in the driver's seat six times by a police officer who had arrived to check on him. The officer had fired two shots as the teen slowly backed the van out of the garage, then 11 more after the van spun around backward. But all the officers told the Albers was that John had "passed" and had been shot. They wouldn't find out until the next day who had shot and killed him.

Keep Reading Show less