Christina Koch Completes 328-Day Mission in Space

Astronaut Christina Koch smiles as she gives a "thumbs up" sign
Astronaut Christina Koch smiles as she gives a “thumbs up” sign shortly after being extracted from the Soyuz MS-13 crew ship that brought her home after 328 days in space. Credit: NASA TV

Setting a record for the longest single spaceflight in history by a woman, NASA astronaut Christina Koch, Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos and Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) landed on Earth at 4:12 a.m. EST in Kazakhstan, southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan. The trio departed the International Space Station in their Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft at 12:50 a.m.

For Parmitano and Skvortsov, this landing completed a 201-day stay in space, 3,216 orbits of Earth and a journey of 85.2 million miles.

Koch’s first journey into space became a 328-day mission in which she orbited Earth 5,248 times, a journey of 139 million miles, roughly the equivalent of 291 trips to the Moon and back. She conducted and supported more than 210 investigations during Expeditions 59, 60, and 61, including as a research subject volunteer to provide scientists the opportunity to observe effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman as the agency plans to return to the Moon under the Artemis program and prepare for human exploration of Mars.

One particular research project in which Koch participated is the Vertebral Strength investigation, which better defines the extent of spaceflight-induced bone and muscle degradation of the spine, and the associated risk for broken vertebrae. This timely endeavor is expected to provide insight into the development of future countermeasures, such as preventative medicine or exercise. These results also could provide recommendations for limiting the amount of force astronauts are subjected to during launch.

Koch lived in space with four fellow NASA astronauts and classmates: Anne McClain, Nick Hague, Andrew Morgan, and Jessica Meir as well as four Russian cosmonauts, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, ESA astronaut Parmitano, and visiting astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Watch Koch’s most memorable moments from her record-breaking mission at:

Learn more about space station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

9 thoughts on “Christina Koch Completes 328-Day Mission in Space”

  1. Congratulations on your successful return to earth and your historic record time in space. Your work in space and now the research on how it effected you will go far into the goal of sending astronauts to Mars. Thanks for your willingness to face the dangers of space. Failure is not an option.

  2. Great to hear they are back safely! Christina appears to be seventh on the list of longest spaceflights, and first among women.

  3. Welcome to to earth Christina! I follow you since you left & you are home ! Congratulations!!! I am proud a woman to the moon & back. Bless you , Maria Elena Brown .

  4. Really Great! Achievent by Christina
    Three Cheers! Really you have proved yourself very high.
    Its a height of appreciation.

  5. Thank You Christina for all of your hard work and service with NASA! It is so inspiring to hear of people like yourself that have worked so hard to achieve goals in their lives and thus being an inspiration to those to take the “next step into the unknown” and possibly accomplish a life long dream of their own. We are so thrilled for you as now a record-breaker and are very happy that you have made it back to Earth in peace and in good spirits. Wishing you the very best in your future endeavors wherever they nay take you. God Speed!

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