NASA astronaut Christina Koch is going to have her mission on the International Space Station(ISS) extended to 328 days.Koch arrived at the space station on March 14 and now is scheduled to remain in orbit until February 2020.
This would set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman by breaking the record of 288 days set by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2016-17.However,this mission will be just short of the longest spaceflight by a former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly of 340 days during his mission in 2015-16.
The significance of her extended mission will help scientists gather additional data about the effects of long-duration human spaceflight beyond those of the normal six-month station expedition.Such research is essential to support future missions to the Moon and Mars.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station,a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit.The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA(USA),Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA(Japan), ESA (European Union) and CSA(Canada).
ISS orbits Earth at an average altitude of approximately 250 miles.It is a highly fortified space object and has shields to buffer against space debris.ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory.