Christina Koch, a 41-year-old American astronaut, wrote her name in history by becoming the first female astronaut to spend the longest time in space.
Koch reportedly lived in space for 328 days, starting her space journey on 14th March 2019 and returning to Earth on 6th February 2020.
Not only this, Christina and her colleague Jessica Meir made the record for the first all-female spacewalk ever, followed by the second and third.
When asked about setting such records, Christina opens up about her space mission experience and says, “We caught each other’s eye and we knew that we were really honored with this opportunity to inspire so many, and just hearing our voices talk to Mission Control, knowing two female voices had never been on the loops, solving those problems together outside — it was a really special feeling.”
This was after she did her first spacewalk on October 18, 2019.
Enthralled to be living every space enthusiast’s dream, Koch thanked God and NASA for providing her with this opportunity and made sure to make the best use of it. Apart from setting world-breaking records, there’s a lot more to remember about Christina’s experience.
Possibilities Around Human Health
Christina conducted multiple experiments and investigations during her time in space. These investigations focused on exploring the potential of outer space and utilizing it to improve the lifestyle on Earth.
Koch along with her team analyzed the effect of a long term spaceflight on the human body. From her experience, it was concluded that mitigations around improving vertebral strength via exercise or medicine can lessen the after-effects of long spaceflights on astronauts.
Another study conducted up there revolved around kidney cells’ functionality in space. The spacewoman observed the diet intake, water conservation, space travel, microgravity, and its effect on kidney health, followed by exploring a potential cure for kidney stones and osteoporosis in space.
Treating Cancer With Crystals
Koch did amazing work around microgravity investigation by analyzing how efficient protein crystals are in treating cancer and tumors.
Learning from failed experiments on Earth, it was noticed that protein crystals show a steady growth in microgravity. Not just that, research says that these protein crystals grow larger and in a more organized way in space, unlike Earth.
A more detailed study along the same path can be a milestone in cancer treatment by protein target ability and can successfully eradicate a growing tumor from its root.
Read Also: NASA’s Jeff Williams To Hold American Record For Most Space Time, When He Returns This Time
Plant Growth In Space
The lady engineer conducted various plant biology experiments as well. Her investigation involved plant growth in space at the cellular level.
Christina and her team not only studied plant growth patterns but also grew a mustard green plant at the space station and did a taste test for the same.
Apart from plant biology, she explored some weird science theories whose conclusions could be used for future space missions. From studying the behavior of fire in space to prevent fire in spacecrafts to understanding the formation of an atom cloud, Koch’s nerdy instincts were beneficial for this space mission.
Home And Space
Another untold aspect of Koch’s mission was about the human touch, nature and memories made.
Christina talked about how much she missed home and human sensations while in space. In a candid talk, she expresses how inconsiderate we humans have been towards the treasures awarded by nature, and how much she yearned to just breathe, feel the wind, touch the sand, taste a raindrop, etc.
With time, Christina adapted to the microgravity in space and has been float sleeping since then. While talking about her lifestyle in space, she says, “Sleep in space has been some of the most restful I’ve ever had — no hotspots, no tossing, no turning, never too hot or too cold. I just float in my body’s natural position. How will I sleep when I return to Earth?”
What More To Take?
She further goes on talking about the beauty of our planet and how insignificant and plain everything seems from up above.
Christina expresses her thoughts on mankind while in space in a beautiful way. She says,
“Earth is alive, and I have witnessed its power and beauty from a special vantage point 250 miles above the surface. From the space station we see no borders, no boundaries — we are all part of one giant organism that breathes and adapts. I have been in awe of this perspective for almost a year now. Back on Earth, I anticipate looking up and seeing the space station streak across the sky, wondering how my friends and colleagues are doing up there without me. For almost 20 years humans have continuously lived and worked in space and the mission continues.”
Living in a world where gender bias is majorly prevalent, Christina Koch broke stereotypes with her historic mission. From installing a bio-fabrication facility in space to making sure that her sex is the least significant part of her space journey, the space engineer’s experience has something for everyone to learn from it.
Image Credits: Google Images
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