Christina Koch returned to Earth last week from a 328-day mission aboard the International Space Station, the longest spaceflight ever for a woman.
.@Astro_Christina is a rockstar! One of the first things she did when she got back to Earth was go swimming in the Gulf and reunite with her dog LBD (Little Brown Dog). Here she talks about some of the highlights of her spaceflight. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/Gpg8QeLGGN— Erica Simon (@EricaOnABC13) February 12, 2020
Hours after she landed, the NASA astronaut posted on social media saying, "This journey has been everyone's journey. Thank you to all involved in the success of our mission, and for giving me the opportunity to carry everyone's dreams into space.
I'm filled with gratitude to be back on the planet!"
"There were so many overwhelming moments," Koch said in her first news conference on Wednesday after returning to Earth.
So, what kind of food does a NASA astronaut who lives near the Gulf miss the most while being away in space?
"I had a couple people provide gifts, so, I came home to a kitchen full of chips and salsa, which was really exciting," she said.
READ MORE: NASA astronaut's husband excited for wife's return to Galveston
On her first flight into space, NASA said Koch participated in experiments that will provide researchers the opportunity to observe effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman.
"This will directly benefit the agency's plans to land the first woman and next man on the Moon under the Artemis program and prepare for human exploration of Mars," said NASA.
Koch's mission by the numbers:
- Koch's mission spanned 5,248 orbits of the Earth, a journey of 139 million miles. That's roughly the equivalent of 291 round trips to the Moon.
- She conducted six spacewalks during her 11 months on orbit, including the first three all-woman spacewalks, spending 42 hours and 15 minutes outside the station.
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