Nur Sultan: NASA’s Christina Koch returned to Earth safely on Thursday after shattering the spaceflight record for female astronauts with a stay of almost 11 months aboard the International Space Station.
Koch touched down at 09:12 GMT on the Kazakh steppe after 328 days in space, along with Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and Alexander Skvortov of the Russian space agency.
Koch was shown seated and smiling broadly after being extracted from the Soyuz descent module in the Roscosmos space agency’s video footage from the landing site.
Local Kazakhs on horseback were among those to witness the capsule landing in the snow-covered steppe as support crews gathered around the three astronauts, NASA commentator Rob Navias said.
Koch, a 41 year old Michigan-born engineer, on 28 December last year beat the previous record for a single spaceflight by a woman of 289 days, set by NASA veteran Peggy Whitson in 2016-17.
Koch also made history as one half of first ever all woman spacewalk along with NASA counterpart Jessica Meir – her classmate from NASA training – in October last year.