Another momentous event for Space exploration happened just a few hours ago. Record-setting NASA astronaut, Christina Koch, and two crew members of Expedition 61 landed back on Earth in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Along with European Space Agency's (ESA) Luca Parmitano, and Roscosmos' Alexander Skvortsov, Koch hit Earth at 4:12 AM EST (9:12 AM GMT) on Thursday, February 6.
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Watch the moment live on NASA broadcast TV
NASA broadcasted the entire departure of the three astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS).
Parmitano was Expedition 61's Commander, one of the three expeditions Koch was part of. Koch's 328 day stint aboard the ISS made her the second-longest single spaceflight NASA astronaut to ever complete her missions. It also gave her the record for the longest single spaceflight duration ever completed by a woman. She was part of Expeditions 59, 60, and 61 during her time in Space.
During that time, Koch participated in over 210 investigations, all crucial to future Space missions, with a particular focus on long-term spaceflight. As NASA plans its next missions to the Moon and Mars, these investigations, with Koch's assistance, have proven to be invaluable.
Much focus was placed on studying how the human body responds to weightlessness, isolation, radiation, and stress from long-duration spaceflight.
Having spent 367 days in Space, Parmitano is taking home the title of ESA's longest-duration single spaceflight astronaut of all time.
Skvortsov just completed his third mission, with a total number of 546 days spent in Space. This makes him the 15th on the list of spaceflight endurance in history.
Watch the live broadcast here.