Fe­male as­tro­naut sets space­flight record

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

A U.S. as­tro­naut set a record Satur­day for the long­est sin­gle space­flight by a wo­man, break­ing the old mark of 288 days with about two months left in her mis­sion.

Christina Koch, a 40-year-old elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer from Liv­ingston, Mon­tana, ar­rived at the In­ter­na­tional Space Station on March 14. She broke the record set by for­mer space station com­man­der Peggy Whit­son in 2016-2017.

Koch is ex­pected to spend a to­tal of 328 days, or nearly 11 months, on board the space station be­fore re­turn­ing to Earth. Mis­sions are typ­i­cally six months, but NASA an­nounced in April that it was ex­tend­ing her mis­sion un­til Fe­bru­ary.

The U.S. record for long­est space flight is 340 days — set by Scott Kelly in 2015-2016. The world record is 15 months, set in the 1990s by a Rus­sian cos­mo­naut aboard the for­mer Mir space station.

Koch’s ex­tended mis­sion will help NASA learn about the ef­fects of long space­flights.

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