Skip to main content

Watch record-breaking astronaut Christina Koch return to Earth on Wednesday

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.

The Soyuz MS-13 crew spacecraft approaching the International Space Station
The Soyuz MS-13 crew spacecraft is seen as it approached the International Space Station for docking on the 50th anniversary of NASA landing humans on the Moon for the first time. The Soyuz will return Expedition 61 crew members NASA astronaut Christina Koch, station commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency), and Soyuz commander Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos to Earth on February 6. NASA

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:

NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Georgina Torbet
Georgina is the Digital Trends space writer, covering human space exploration, planetary science, and cosmology. She…
U.S. astronaut returns home after record-breaking mission
U.S. astronaut Mark Vande Hei back on Earth.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei returned home safely on Wednesday after the longest single space mission by an American astronaut.

Vande Hei’s stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS) lasted 355 days, beating the previous record set by Scott Kelly in 2016 by 15 days.

Read more
U.S. astronaut shares highs and lows of record space trip
NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei aboard the space station.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is returning to Earth this week after setting a new record for the longest continuous spaceflight by an American.

On March 15, Vande Hei broke the existing 340-day record set by Scott Kelly in 2016, and when he leaves the International Space Station (ISS) in the next few days, that record will have extended to 355 days, just 10 short of a full year.

Read more
How to watch record-breaking astronaut return to Earth this week
NASA astronaut and Expedition 66 Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei poses for a photo on Feb. 10, 2022, while configuring the Combustion Integrated Rack in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module of the International Space Station to support a pair of fire safety experiments.

This week, record-breaking NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei will be returning from the International Space Station (ISS) along with two of his Russian colleagues, cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.

NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV

Read more