NASA astronaut Christina Koch (far left) with her crew members.
NASA astronaut Christina Koch will have her mission on the International Space Station (ISS) extended to nearly 11 months, setting a record for a woman's longest space flight, American.
Koch, 40, arrived at the ISS on March 14 with two other crew members – one American and one Russian – for what was originally planned to be a six-month mission.
The two other astronauts will return to Earth on October 3, but Koch's stay will be extended until February 2020, beating the record of another American astronaut, Peggy Whitson, who spent 288 days aboard the ISS in 2016-17, he said. the Nasa. .
"It's incredible," Koch said when he said his mission was being prolonged. "I knew this was a possibility a long time ago and it's really a dream come true."
Jennifer Fogarty, chief scientist at NASA's Human Research Program, said Koch's extended mission would provide additional data on the effects of long-lived space flight on the human body and "support future missions to the Moon and Mars."
The record for an extended space flight by an American is made by American astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent 340 days aboard the ISS in 2015-16 with Russian Mikhail Kornienko.
The longest space flight ever was Russian Valery Polyakov, who spent 14 months aboard the Mir space station in 1994-95.
The current team aboard the ISS is composed of three Americans – Koch, Anne McClain and Nick Hague – two Russians – Oleg Kononenko and Alexey Ovchinin – and one Canadian, David Saint-Jacques.
Between June and September, several astronauts will return to Earth and will be replaced by others, including an Italian, Luca Parmitano, and the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates, Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, who will spend about a week in space.
Currently, astronauts fly to and from the ISS using the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. US manufacturers SpaceX and Boeing are developing their own transports and are scheduled to be ready by the end of the year.
The ISS – a rare area of cooperation between Moscow and Washington – has been in Earth orbit since 1998.
(This story has not been edited by the NDTV team and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)
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