ISS resupply mission launches from Virginia's Eastern Shore

Mindy Sparks
April 20, 2019

Her extended 328-day mission comes in just shy of the longest single spaceflight by a NASA astronaut-an achievement set by Scott Kelly during his one-year stint in 2015-16. Koch will come up a little short of setting an all-time record for spaceflight duration for a NASA astronaut.

On this mission, the NG-11 spacecraft is named in honour of NASA astronaut, Roger Chaffee.

Koch will, however, eclipse the 288 days former rocketeer Peggy Whitson spent in space from 2016-17.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch is going to have her mission on the International Space Station (ISS) extended to almost 11 months, which would set a record for the longest spaceflight by a woman, the U.S. space agency said Wednesday. That approaches but does not quite break Scott Kelly's 340 day US record.

The extended missions are aimed at gathering additional data on the effects of long-duration human spaceflight beyond the standard six-month station expedition.

Koch's fellow Expedition 59 crewmembers Anne McClain of NASA, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, and Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos will return to Earth in June. In the spirit of Chaffee's role to advance the United States space program, we're also proud to demonstrate a number of innovative capabilities for our Cygnus spacecraft during this mission, including our ability to load cargo close to launch and our planned long duration flight which will take place when Cygnus leaves the International Space Station. Complete coverage of the launch will be provided by NASA with a broadcast of the mission on NASA TV. This was the 11th cargo mission carrying supplies headed for the astronauts manning the International Space Station, and a new development enabled the 24-hour late load of critical freight.

A USA rocket was launched on Wednesday from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore, carrying cargo with the space agency's resupply mission for the International Space Station (ISS). Koch's extended stay on the ISS will provide the space agency will additional data for its Human Research Program, which could be used to support planned missions to the Moon and even to Mars.

Morgan, Meir, and Skripochka are scheduled to touch down in spring 2020.

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