At the moment, NASA introduced which astronauts will likely be touring to and from the International Space Station by way of the tip of the year, and the brand new schedule means one astronaut will now be breaking a vital record while in orbit. Due to the brand new association, NASA astronaut Christina Koch — who’s already in space — will quickly maintain the title for longest single spaceflight by a woman, beating out the last titleholder, former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson.
Koch launched to the ISS on March 14th, together with NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin. However relatively than keep for six months, as most of NASA’s astronauts do, Koch is now slated to stay on the station by February 2020. That means she’ll spend 328 days, or practically a full year, in orbit, which is without doubt one of the longest consecutive stays in space by any NASA astronaut. She’ll merely miss beating Scott Kelly’s report of 340 straight days in orbit, the all-time file for a NASA astronaut. However, she’ll beat Whitson’s time of 288 consecutive days in space.
The prolonged keep may very well be useful for NASA to raised perceive how lengthy-period spaceflight impacts human physique. Whereas Kelly was in space for his year-long mission, he gave samples of his blood and did different health analyses so that NASA may see how his body modified whereas in orbit. The space company then, in contrast, Kelly’s health knowledge to that of his twin brother, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, who remained on Earth all through the total year. The experiment revealed several stunning ways in which area messes with the physique, like damaging DNA and affecting cognition. NASA noted that Koch’s flight might even add to this rising space of analysis.
Along with saying Koch’s lengthy journey, NASA additionally detailed when sure crew members will depart this summer season in addition to who will arrive later this year. After three crew members leave in June, a brand new set of three is slated to launch to the ISS in July, adopted by one other set of three in September. Meaning nine folks will likely be on the station briefly earlier than three people go away in early October. One crew member arriving in September is NASA astronaut and first-time flyer Jessica Meir who can also be scheduled to remain for a prolonged mission, just like that of Koch’s. She’ll be leaving in spring 2020.