CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA astronaut will spend nearly a year at the International Space Station, setting a record for women.
Station astronaut Christina Koch will remain on board for about 11 months, until February. That approaches but doesn't quite break Scott Kelly's 340-day U.S. record. She knew before launching last month that her flight might stretch into 2020. She says it's awesome.
One month down. Ten to go. Today the possibility has become reality: My mission is planned to be extended through a third Expedition onboard @Space_Station! Privileged to contribute my best every single day of it. pic.twitter.com/b9RhhNHZzt— Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) April 17, 2019
Another NASA astronaut will also have an extended stay. Andrew Morgan will launch to the space station this summer for a nine-month mission — also considerably longer than the usual six months.
NASA announced the extended assignments this week.
Koch will break the record of 288 days for the longest single spaceflight by a woman at the end of December. Retired astronaut Peggy Whitson is the current record-holder.