Astronaut Christina Koch, six days after returning from a record 11-month stay aboard the International Space Station, said Wednesday she’s re-adapting to gravity with no major problems, enjoying family life, an initial trip to the beach, playing with her dog “LBD” and a kitchen packed with chips and salsa, a favorite food in short supply aboard the station.
Christina Koch, veteran of six spacewalks outside the International Space Station — including the first all-female excursion — joined a Russian commander and an Italian flight engineer for a fiery plunge to landing in frigid Kazakhstan early Thursday, setting a new record for the longest single flight by a female.
The Russian Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft departed the International Space Station and landed in Kazakhstan Thursday, bringing home outgoing space station commander Luca Parmitano, Soyuz pilot Alexander Skvortsov, and NASA astronaut Christina Koch, who concluded a 328-day mission, the longest-ever spaceflight by a woman. The Soyuz undocked from the station at 0550 GMT (12:50 a.m. EST) Thursday, then landed on the Kazakh steppe at 0912 GMT (4:12 a.m. EST).
Christina Koch, veteran of six spacewalks outside the International Space Station — including the first all-female excursion — will join a Russian commander and an Italian flight engineer for a fiery plunge back to Earth early Thursday, setting a new world record for the longest single flight by a female astronaut.
A Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo craft departed the International Space Station Friday to close out a three-month stay, then raised its orbit to release multiple experimental nanosatellites for NASA, the U.S. military and research institutions, including one that was snap-assembled by astronauts using 3D-printed parts produced on the station.
During a fourth spacewalk Saturday to wrap up repairs of the coolant system in a $2 billion cosmic ray detector, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and Drew Morgan discovered a leak in one of eight coolant lines that were spliced into a new pump module during three earlier excursions. But Parmitano was able to tighten a fitting on the line and the astronauts were able to complete the repair work, setting the stage for the instrument to resume science operations.
It took NASA more than 50 years to stage its first all-female spacewalk last October. It took three months before the second on Jan. 15 and just five days more for the third on Monday, a successful six-hour 58-minute excursion to finish installing a set of new solar array batteries aboard the International Space Station.
A SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule concluded a 30-day stay at the International Space Station Tuesday with an automated departure from the orbiting research outpost at 5:05 a.m. EST (1005 GMT) Tuesday. The Dragon’s release from the robotic arm set the stage for a scorching re-entry and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Los Angeles at around 10:41 a.m. EST (1541 GMT).