NASA astronaut Christiana Koch is on the way to execute her mission on the International Space Station along with the extension of almost 11 months, which would set documentation for the prolonging spaceflight by a woman, claimed by the US space agency.
40 years old Christiana Koch arrived on the ISS on 14th March with two other crew members-a Russian and an American – for what was planned at the beginning to be a six-month-long mission.
The two other astronauts will come back to Earth on 3rd October but Christiana Koach’s mission would be extended until 2020 February, which would beat the record organized by another female US astronaut Peggy Whitson, who spent 288 days aboard the ISS in 2016-2017, told by NASA.
Christiana Koach said while told her mission was being extended, “ It feels awesome”. She also added, “I have known that this was a possibility for a long time and it’s truly a dream come true. ”
The Chief scientist of NASA’s Human Research Program, Jennifer Fogarty, said the extended mission of Koch would provide additional data about the effects of prolonged spaceflight on the human body and “support future missions to Mars and Moon”.
The record for an extended spaceflight by an American is organized by US astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent 340 days aboard the ISS in 2015-16 with Russian Mikhail Kornienko. The prolonging ever spaceflight was by Valery Polyakov from Russia, and he spent 14 months abroad the Mir space station in 1994-95.
The recent team aboard the ISS is made up of three Americans – Anne McClain, Koch and Nick Hague – two Russians- Oleg Kononenko and Alexey Ovchinin and a Canadian, David Saint Jacques.
Between June and September, a number of astronauts will come back to Earth will be replaced by others, including Luca Parmitano, an Italian, and the first ever astronaut from the United Arab Emirates, Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, who will spend about a week in space.
Astronauts are recently winged to and from the ISS using Soyuz spacecraft of Russia. US spaceflight manufacturer SpaceX and Boeing are evolving their own transports and those are programmed to be ready by the end of the year.
The ISS -a rare area of coordination between Washington and Moscow, has been revolving the Earth since 1998.