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NCSU grad set to break record for longest spaceflight by woman

Posted April 17, 2019 8:43 a.m. EDT
Updated April 17, 2019 9:45 a.m. EDT

Christina Koch, a North Carolina State University graduate and NASA astronaut currently on the International Space Station, is set to break the record for the longest single spaceflight for a woman, NASA announced Wednesday.

Koch’s time at the International Space Station has been extended to February 2020, bringing her flight to 328 days.

Peggy Whitson currently holds the record for longest single spaceflight by a woman. She stayed in space for 288 days in 2016 and 2017.

Koch arrived at the station March 14 and completed her first spacewalk March 29.

Koch's spacewalk was originally going to be the first all-female spacewalk, with astronaut Anne McClain joining her outside of the International Space Station.

Beforehand, McClain realized she felt more comfortable in a medium sized spacesuit torso rather than a large as originally planned. There was only one medium torso component ready for a spacewalk aboard the station, but Koch was to wear it during her spacewalk. Astronaut Nick Hague replaced McClain during the March 29 spacewalk.

Retired astronaut Scott Kelly holds the record for longest single spaceflight by a NASA astronaut. He spent 340 days in space in 2015 and 2016.

NASA also announced Wednesday that astronaut Andrew Morgan’s stay has been extended, and astronaut Jessica Meir will launch to space for the first time in September.