Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 28° Partly Cloudy
News

NASA’s record-setting Koch, crewmates safely back from space

UPDATED: Thu., Feb. 6, 2020

U.S. astronaut Christina Koch reacts shortly after the landing of the Russian Soyuz MS-13 space capsule about 80 miles south-east of the Kazakh town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. A Soyuz space capsule with U.S. astronaut Christina Koch, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, returning from a mission to the International Space Station landed safely on Thursday on the steppes of Kazakhstan. Koch wrapped up a 328-day mission on her first flight into space, providing researchers the opportunity to observe effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman as the agency plans to return to the Moon under the Artemis program. (Sergei Ilnitsky / AP)
U.S. astronaut Christina Koch reacts shortly after the landing of the Russian Soyuz MS-13 space capsule about 80 miles south-east of the Kazakh town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. A Soyuz space capsule with U.S. astronaut Christina Koch, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, returning from a mission to the International Space Station landed safely on Thursday on the steppes of Kazakhstan. Koch wrapped up a 328-day mission on her first flight into space, providing researchers the opportunity to observe effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman as the agency plans to return to the Moon under the Artemis program. (Sergei Ilnitsky / AP)
By Vladimir Isachenkov Associated Press

MOSCOW – NASA astronaut Christina Koch, who spent nearly 11 months in orbit to set a record for the longest spaceflight by a woman, landed safely Thursday in Kazakhstan along with two International Space Station crewmates.

The Soyuz capsule carrying Koch, station Commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, touched down southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, at 3:12 p.m.

Koch wrapped up a 328-day mission after her first flight into space, providing researchers the opportunity to observe the effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman. The study is important since NASA plans to return to the moon under the Artemis program and prepare for the human exploration of Mars.

Koch smiled and gave a thumbs-up as a support team helped her out of the capsule and placed her in a chair for a quick post-flight checkup alongside her crew mates. Russian space officials said they were in good shape.

Koch, who grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and now lives near the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston, Texas, with her husband, Bob, told The Associated Press last month that taking part in the first all-female spacewalk was the highlight of her mission.

Koch said she and fellow NASA astronaut Jessica Meir appreciated that the Oct. 18 spacewalk “could serve as an inspiration for future space explorers.”

Parmitano and Skvortsov spent 201 days in space.

After preliminary medical evaluations, the crew will be flown by Russian helicopters to the city of Karaganda in Kazakhstan. Koch and Parmitano will then board a NASA plane bound for Cologne, Germany, where Parmitano will be greeted by European space officials before Koch proceeds home to Houston.

Skvortsov will be flown to the Star City Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.