US astronaut to set girls’s report for time spent in area

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A NASA astronaut will spend almost a 12 months on the Worldwide Area Station, setting a report for ladies.

Station astronaut Christina Koch will stay on board for about 11 months till February — approaching however not fairly breaking Scott Kelly’s 340-day US report.

“One month down. Ten to go,” she tweeted Wednesday. She stated it feels superior having a lot further time in area and “a real honor and a dream come true.”

Koch knew earlier than launching final month that her flight may stretch into 2020 and sought recommendation from Kelly in addition to retired astronaut Peggy Whitson, the present record-holder for feminine area fliers.

Koch will break Whitson’s 288-day report for the longest single spaceflight by a lady on the finish of December.

“I hope that me being up right here and giving my greatest day-after-day is a means for me to say thanks to individuals like her,” Koch stated in a NASA interview broadcast Wednesday.

Koch stated earlier than launching, she and her husband listened to an audio recording of Kelly’s 2017 autobiography, “Endurance.” She stated there was loads of useful recommendation.

{An electrical} engineer who’s labored in Antarctica, Koch will endure medical exams throughout her keep. Extra topics and extra variety are wanted, she famous, to higher perceive the consequences of long-term spaceflight as NASA goals to return astronauts to the moon inside 5 years.

“It’s nearly turning into not that huge of a deal to have someone on board station for 10, 11 months as a result of we’ve accomplished it earlier than, we’re good at it and we’re going to maintain doing it,” she stated.

Koch was purported to turn out to be a part of the primary all-female spacewalking group, however as a substitute ventured out a couple of weeks in the past with a male crewmate. Just one usable medium spacesuit was obtainable and the 2 girls on board each wanted mediums.

One other NASA astronaut additionally may have an prolonged keep. Dr. Andrew Morgan will launch to the area station this summer time for a nine-month mission — additionally significantly longer than the same old six months. The doctor and Military officer will carry off from Kazakhstan with an Italian and a Russian on July 20, the 50th anniversary of the primary manned moon touchdown.

Each Koch and Morgan are a part of NASA’s Astronaut Class of 2013, the primary to have a 50-50 break up between men and women.

NASA introduced the prolonged assignments this week. The first cause for the schedule shuffling is to liberate a seat on a pair of Russian Soyuz spacecraft for the United Arab Emirates’ first astronaut, Hazza al-Mansoori. He’ll spend simply over every week in orbit this fall.

Russia nonetheless holds the world’s area endurance report. A Russian cosmonaut-physician spent almost 15 months on a single mission aboard the previous Mir area station within the mid-1990s.

Kelly returned to Earth in 2016 and Whitson in 2017. Each at the moment are retired from NASA.

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