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NASA astronaut Christina Koch heads home after record-setting spaceflight

In December, Koch broke the record for longest spaceflight by a woman. She was also part of the the first all-woman spacewalk.

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Christina Koch NASA

Christina Koch spent 328 days in space.

NASA

After orbiting the Earth 5,248 times and traveling 139 million miles, NASA astronaut Christina Koch is on her way home. She's set to arrive back on Earth on Feb. 6, after almost a full year of working at the International Space Station. In December, Koch set the record for longest spaceflight by a woman, after completing her 289th day on the ISS. She stayed on the spacecraft for 328 days, just short of Scott Kelly's 340-day record.

During her sojourn Koch spent 42 hours outside in space, notching up six spacewalks, including taking part in the first and second ever all-female spacewalks, in October 2019 and January 2020.

"I'm going to miss this bunch," Koch tweeted Wednesday. "Thank you, space family."

NASA says Koch worked on more than 210 investigations during her mission, "helping advance NASA's goals to return humans to the Moon under the Artemis program and prepare for human exploration of Mars." 

Koch helped research how humans adjust to isolation, radiation, weightlessness, spine degradation and stress in space. She also worked on the Microgravity Crystals investigation to crystallize a membrane protein for cancer survival.