Christina Hammock Koch looks on as her spacesuit is tested. File / Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP
NASA astronaut Christina Koch is going to have her mission on the International Space Station (ISS) extended to nearly 11 months, which would set a record for the longest spaceflight by a woman, the US space agency said Wednesday.
Koch, 40, arrived on the ISS on March 14 with two other crew members − an American and a Russian − for what was initially planned to be a six-month mission.
The two other astronauts will return to Earth on Oct.3 but Koch's stay would be extended until February 2020, which would beat the record held by another female US astronaut, Peggy Whitson, who spent 288 days aboard the ISS in 2016-17, NASA said.
"It feels awesome," Koch said when told her mission was being prolonged.
"I have known that this was a possibility for a long time and it's truly a dream come true."
Jennifer Fogarty, chief scientist of NASA's Human Research Program, said Koch's extended mission would provide additional data about the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body and "support future missions to the Moon and Mars."
The record for an extended spaceflight by an American is held by US astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent 340 days aboard the ISS in 2015-16 with Russian Mikhail Kornienko.
The longest ever spaceflight was by Russia's Valery Polyakov, who spent 14 months aboard the Mir space station in 1994-95.
The current team aboard the ISS is made up of three Americans − Koch, Anne McClain and Nick Hague − two Russians − Oleg Kononenko and Alexey Ovchinin − and a Canadian, David Saint-Jacques.
Between June and September, several astronauts will return to Earth and be replaced by others, including an Italian, Luca Parmitano, and the first ever astronaut from the United Arab Emirates, Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, who will spend about a week in space.
Astronauts are currently flown to and from the ISS using Russia's Soyuz spacecraft. US manufacturers SpaceX and Boeing are developing their own transports and those are scheduled to be ready by the end of the year.
The ISS − a rare area of cooperation between Moscow and Washington − has been orbiting the Earth since 1998.
'I'm so excited that we finally get to share what we have been working on for the past year!' the 29 year-old Bouman said.
Sultan Al Neyadi will be a backup astronaut for the International Space Station (ISS) mission
NASA have made it clear they want astronauts back on the Moon in 2024, and now, they are zeroing in on the Red Planet -- the US space agency confirmed that it wants humans to reach Mars by 2033.
Pakistan has lifted a rule barring the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for people below 40 years old, in a bid to help inoculate people who need to travel for education or jobs abroad, particularly Saudi Arabia, a health official said.
It jailed him for 15 years for homicide and five months for desecration of a corpse after he chopped up his mother's body and ate "her cadaver over at least 15 days," feeding some to his dog.
Dr. Farida Al Hosani, Official Spokesperson of the UAE Health Sector and Director of the Communicable Diseases Department of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC), said, “An increase in infection was observed in the country, especially after the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, which was caused by several reasons, one of which was the failure to adhere to the precautionary measures and the large number of gatherings.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed toured the House of Wisdom, reviewing the various facilities of the project, including halls, lobbies, exhibitions and various spaces, and the library, which includes about 305,000 printed and electronic books...