(CBS DETROIT) – Christina Koch, a Michigan native, and record-setting astronaut, and her crewmates, Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Luca Parmitano of ESA, returned home Thursday after 11 months in space, according to NASA.
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The trio departed the International Space Station at 12:50 a.m. EST and made a safe, parachute-assisted landing at 4:12 a.m. (3:12 p.m. Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
What will I miss? The exquisite beauty of both the planet Earth and this marvel that its amazing people created. pic.twitter.com/VWIFXuJMTp
— Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) February 5, 2020
The four seasons of the incredible Yellowstone Lake in @YellowstoneNPS. Spending 11 months in space means getting to watch your favorite places on Earth even as they change throughout the year. pic.twitter.com/tFxXe040S8
— Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) February 4, 2020
NASA says Koch’s extended mission will provide researchers the opportunity to observe effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman as the agency plans to return humans to the Moon under the Artemis program and prepare for human exploration of Mars.READ MORE: MSU Police Find Body That Is Believed To Be Brendan Santo In Red Cedar River
Koch launched March 14, 2019, alongside fellow NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin. Her first journey into space of 328 days is the second-longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut and also places her seventh on the list of cumulative time in space for American astronauts with one or more missions.
She completed 5,248 orbits of the Earth and a journey of 139 million miles, roughly the equivalent of 291 trips to the Moon and back, NASA said. She conducted six spacewalks during 11 months on orbit, including the first three all-woman spacewalks, spending 42 hours and 15 minutes outside the station. She witnessed the arrival of a dozen visiting spacecraft and the departure of another dozen.
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