After a lengthy spaceflight of 328 days, astronaut Christina Koch returned from her mission as a new record-holder on Thursday, Feb. 6. Koch landed in Kazakhstan with two of her colleagues: Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency (ESA). As soon as they landed, people on were quick to celebrate. These tweets about Christina Koch's record-breaking space stay are seriously so hype.
NASA announced the safe return of Koch and her colleagues to Kazakhstan's remote town of Dzhezkazgan on Feb. 6. They landed at 4:12 a.m. ET, finally ending Koch's extended mission, which lasted a record-breaking 328 days. This milestone makes Koch the new record-holder for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, which was previously held by Peggy Whitson. She also now holds the second-longest single spaceflight record by a U.S. astronaut, just behind Scott Kelly, who holds the longest recorded spaceflight of 340 days.
Koch took off from Earth on March 14, 2019, and believe it or not, her mission included more than one milestone achievement. Koch, who is also an electrical engineer, took part in the very first all-female spacewalk with Jessica Meir on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, which lasted over seven hours. NASA researchers plan to observe the effects of the long spacewalk on Koch, in preparation for the Artemis program and the future human exploration of Mars in 2021.
Koch is literally making history for female astronauts and women everywhere. Her record-breaking spaceflight is understandably making some waves on Twitter with #CongratsChristina, and people are praising the record-holder as model of female empowerment.
NASA's Johnson Space Center first posted Koch's return to our planet on Twitter:
The response from most users is a mix of pure hype and pride:
Koch's contributions are inspiring women and young girls around the globe:
Koch gave a very excited thumbs up and was beaming with pride when she finally landed:
As for Koch's reaction, she tweeted that she'll miss the seeing the beauty of planet Earth from space and her "space family."
Koch's safe return to Earth is an achievement on its own, but during her stay in space, she completed 5,248 orbits around Earth and traveled 139 million miles in addition to her six spacewalks. She spent 42 hours and 15 minutes outside of the space station, which is nearly two full days exploring and making walks in space. #CongratsChristina!