NASA astronaut Christina Koch returned to Earth on 6 February after spending 328 days on the International Space Station (ISS). She completed the longest ever single spaceflight by a woman. On 28 December 2019, she beat the previous record for a single spaceflight by a woman of 289 days which was set by NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2016-17. Koch’s Mission: Koch is a 41-year-old Michigan-born engineer. She began her journey to space on 14 March 2019. She joined along with the European astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov. She stayed on an 11-month mission. Koch has performed various experiments including studying the effects of microgravity on combustion, Mizuna mustard greens, bioprinting, and kidney diseases. Also, Koch herself was a research subject to determine the long-term effects of spaceflight on the human body. Koch’s medical data will be used by NASA scientists as it is planning for a long-duration manned mission to Mars. Note: Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova is the first woman to conduct a solo mission. Her spaceflight happened in 1963.
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