Feb
14
Space to Ground: Record Breaking: 02/07/2020


WELCOME TO SPACE TO GROUND, I AM KAYLA LAFRANCE. ON TOP OF THE NORMAL HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF
SCIENCE RESEARCH AND LIFE ONBOARD THE SPACE STATION, THE CREW PREPARED FOR A SPECIAL HOMECOMING. RUSSIAN COSMONAUT ALEXANDER SKVORTSOV, ALONG WITH LUCA PARMITANO OF THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY, AND NASA ASTRONAUT CHRISTINA KOCH,
RETURNED HOME ON THURSDAY AFTER COMPLETING THEIR EXPEDITION 61 MISSION. BEFORE THEIR STAY ONBOARD ENDED, PARMITANO
HANDED OVER COMMAND OF THE STATION TO CREWMATE OLEG SKRIPOCHKA OF ROSCOSMOS. THEN THE TWO CREWS SAID THEIR FAREWELLS, THE
HATCH WAS CLOSED TO THE SOYUZ MS-13 SPACECRAFT AND THE RETURNING CREW UNDOCKED FROM THE STATION’S POISK MODULE. AFTER THE NEARLY 4-HOUR JOURNEY, THE CREW
LANDED SAFELY IN KAZAKHSTAN, AND WAS GREETED BY A RECOVERY TEAM WHO TRANSPORTED THEM TO
KARAGANDA. BEFORE THEY PARTED WAYS TO HEAD OFF TO THEIR
HOME NATIONS. PARMITANO AND SKVORTSOV, SPENT 201 DAYS IN
SPACE, HAVING LAUNCHED WITH NASA’S ANDREW MORGAN LAST JULY. MORGAN WILL REMAIN ON THE STATION WITH THE
REST OF HIS EXPEDITION 62 CREWMATE’S UNTIL THEIR RETURN TO EARTH IN APRIL. KOCH SET THE RECORD FOR THE LONGEST SPACEFLIGHT MISSION BY A FEMALE ASTRONAUT AFTER COMPLETING HER 328 DAY LONG STAY ONBOARD THE SPACE STATION, SURPASSING THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 288 DAYS
HELD BY NASA ASTRONAUT PEGGY WHITSON. NOT ONLY DID CHRISTINA SET A NEW DURATION
RECORD, SHE ALSO PARTICIPATED IN THE FIRST ALL WOMEN EVA WITH HER FRIEND AND CREWMATE,
JESSICA MEIR BACK IN OCTOBER OF LAST YEAR. THE TWO OF THEM WOULD GO ON TO PREFORM TWO
MORE EVAS TOGETHER. THIS WEEK, KOCH REFLECTED ON HER MULTI-RECORD
BREAKING MISSION. “WELL FOR ME, IT’S JUST ALL ABOUT THE HONOR
THAT I FEEL TO FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MY HEROES, AND HOPEFULLY I CAN MAKE IT ABOUT
PAYING HOMAGE TO THEM. THEY’RE THE ONES THAT PAVED THE WAY FOR US
TO ALL BE WHERE WE ARE TODAY. AND ALSO I LOOK AT IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO
HOPEFULLY INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATION OF FUTURE EXPLORERS. I KNOW FOR ME IT WAS IMPORTANT TO SEE PEOPLE
THAT I SAW A REFLECTION OF MYSELF IN GROWING UP WHEN I WAS ENVISIONING, YOU KNOW, WHAT
I COULD DO WITH MY LIFE AND WHAT MY DREAMS MIGHT BE. SO, THE IDEA TO MAYBE BE THAT SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR SOMEONE ELSE IS JUST SUCH AN HONOUR, AND I HOPE TO CARRY THAT FORWARD EVEN WHEN I’M
BACK ON EARTH.” KOCH’S TIME IN SPACE ALSO WILL PROVIDE RESEARCHERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO OBSERVE EFFECTS OF LONG-DURATION SPACEFLIGHT ON A WOMAN, AS THE AGENCY PLANS
TO RETURN TO THE MOON UNDER THE ARTEMIS PROGRAM AND PREPARE FOR HUMAN EXPLORATION AT MARS. DURING THIS RECORD-SETTING MISSION, KOCH SPENT
MANY OF HER HOURS ON SCIENCE ACTIVITIES ABOARD THE SPACE STATION AND WORE MANY HATS: FARMER,
BIOLOGIST, PHYSICIST, ENGINEER, TEST SUBJECT AND MANY MORE. KEEP SENDING IN YOUR QUESTIONS USING THE HASHTAG #ASKNASA. WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK.