On February 6, 2020, Christina Koch returned to earth after spending a record-breaking 328 days in space. Her first order of business: to kiss her dog and eat some chips and salsa!
- Christina grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina. From the time she was a little girl, she dreamed of being an astronaut.
- Christina graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Physics and a Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering.
- Christina spent three years in the Arctic and Antarctic. She says it was physically and emotionally hard to be away from family and friends in a place with no sunlight for three months.
- She was chosen by NASA to be an astronaut in 2013 and completed astronaut training in 2015.
- Christina spent almost one year at the International Space Station (ISS), the longest time any woman has spent in space. She also went on an all-female spacewalk, another first.
- When Christina got home, she said she felt like a baby, barely able to hold her head up. The human body is not designed for space travel and readjusting to gravity can be hard. Astronaut Scott Kelly, for example, spent 340 days in space and complained of sore feet and burning skin for three months after he returned to earth.
- Christina was very excited to see her husband and her puppy, LBD (Little Brown Dog) at her home in Galveston, Texas. She also couldn’t wait to eat her favorite food, chips and salsa.
- Re-adjust: to become accustomed to something again
- International Space Station: a collaboration between the U.S., Russia, Europe, Canada, and Japan, the ISS is a low-orbiting space station
Questions and Answers
Question: Is it hard to become an astronaut?
Answer: Astronauts need a background in science and math. They also must pass emotional and physical tests to make sure they can handle the rigors of space travel.
Watch videos and see photos of Christina at NASA.