NASA astronaut Koch returns to Earth after record space mission

Science

FILE PHOTO: The International Space Station (ISS) crew member Christina Koch of the U.S. gestures after donning space suits shortly before their launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

(Reuters) – A capsule carrying a crew of three from the International Space Station, including record-setting United States astronaut Christina Koch, landed in Kazakhstan on Thursday, a live feed by Russian space agency Roscosmos showed.

The touchdown on a snow-covered steppe also marked the return to earth of Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russia’s Alexander Skvortsov.

Koch’s 328-day space mission broke the record for the longest continuous stay in space by a woman, previously held by NASA’s Peggy Whitson.

Launched into orbit last March, Koch’s mission was extended in April from its original span of six months to nearly a year after she was already aboard the station.

Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Toby Chopra and John Stonestreet

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