NASA’s record-setting Koch, crewmates safely back from space

Author: 
AFP
ID: 
1580981197539740300
Thu, 2020-02-06 09:22

MOSCOW: NASA astronaut Christina Koch, who has spent nearly 11
months in orbit on the longest spaceflight by a woman, landed
safely in Kazakhstan on Thursday along with two of her
International Space Station crewmates.

The Soyuz capsule carrying Koch, along with station Commander
Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and the Russian space
agency Roscosmos’ Alexander Skvortsov, touched down southeast of
Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, at 3:12p.m. (0912 GMT).

Koch wrapped up a 328-day mission on her first flight into
space, providing researchers the opportunity to observe the effects
of long-duration spaceflight on a woman. The study is important
since NASA plans to return to the moon under the Artemis program
and prepare for the human exploration of Mars.

Koch smiled and gave a thumbs-up as support crew helped her get
out of the capsule and placed her in a chair for a quick
post-flight check-up alongside her crewmates. Russian space
officials said they were in good shape.

Koch, who grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and now lives
near the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston, Texas, with her husband, Bob,
told The Associated Press last month that taking part in the first
all-female spacewalk was the highlight of her mission.

Koch said she and fellow NASA astronaut Jessica Meir appreciated
that the Oct. 18 spacewalk “could serve as an inspiration for
future space explorers.”

Parmitano and Skvortsov spent 201 days in space.

After preliminary medical evaluations, the crew will be flown by
Russian helicopters to the city of Karaganda in Kazakhstan. Koch
and Parmitano will then board a NASA plane bound for Cologne,
Germany, where Parmitano will be greeted by European space
officials before Koch proceeds home to Houston.

Skvortsov will be flown to the Star City Cosmonaut Training
Center outside Moscow.

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Source: *FS – All – Science News Net
NASA’s record-setting Koch, crewmates safely back from space