Record-breaking NASA astronaut Christina Koch and two of her colleagues will complete their missions aboard the International Space Station (ISS) this week and head back to Earth, and their departure and landing will be shown live on NASA TV.
Koch will have spent 328 consecutive days in space, during which she broke the record for the longest single-duration spaceflight by a woman, and also participated in the first all-woman spacewalk along with her colleague Jessica Mier. She is also seventh on the list of American astronauts who have spent the most time in space, and will have completed the second-longest single spaceflight stay by any American astronaut after Scott Kelly.
During her time on the ISS, Koch participants in six spacewalks, including walks to upgrade the station’s power system and to fix the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a dark matter detection instrument which has far outlived its originally planned lifespan and was previously considered unserviceable.
According to NASA, Koch spent a total of 42 hours and 15 minutes outside the station on spacewalks, and during her stay inside she will have traveled 5,248 orbits around the Earth, equivalent to a journey of 139 million miles.
Koch will depart the ISS along with two of her colleagues, Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, each of whom will have spent 201 days in space. This is Parmitano’s second mission to the ISS, and he will achieve a total of 367 days in space, which is the highest number for any ESA astronaut. Skvortsov is on his third mission to the ISS, and will have spent a massive total of 546 days in space.
The three astronauts will board a Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft on Wednesday, February 5, which will carry then back to Earth, performing a parachute-assisted landing in the Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan area. You can watch the departure and landing using the video below:
Coverage of the departure of the Soyuz MS-13 from the International Space Station will begin at 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday. The crew will say their farewells as Skvortsov, Koch, and Parmitano leave the station, with the hatch between the craft and the ISS is scheduled to close at 6:30 p.m. PT.
A few hours later, coverage of the undocking procedure will begin at 9:15 p.m. PT. The actual undocking is scheduled for 9:50 p.m.
Finally, at midnight, the landing coverage will begin. The de-orbit burn will begin at 12:18 a.m. PT on Thursday, February 6, with the landing scheduled for 1:14 a.m. PT.
- Watch SpaceX’s Crew-4 astronauts arrive at new home in space
- Watch how space station astronauts get ready for bed
- How to watch Axiom-1 space tourists return from the ISS on Saturday
- Watch NASA’s video celebrating record-breaking space mission
- U.S. astronaut returns home after record-breaking mission