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‘A new dawn’: Christina Koch sets women’s record for longest spaceflight

U.S. female astronaut who completed first all-woman spacewalk continuing to set milestones
WATCH: U.S. female astronaut who completed first all-woman spacewalk continuing to set milestones

Christina Koch is on a space mission longer than that of any other female astronaut before her.

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NASA said Saturday that Koch surpassed the previous women’s record for a single spaceflight. The agency described the milestone as a new day and a new dawn.

“Congrats, Christina, on reaching new heights,” NASA tweeted.

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The previous record of 288 days was set by Peggy Whitson, the former commander of the International Space Station (ISS).

“I’m very happy for you,” Whitson said in a video congratulating Koch that was shot inside a zero-gravity facility.

“And we all know gravity sucks.”

Koch is on her first spaceflight. NASA says she is slated to spend a total of 328 consecutive days working at the ISS. She is participating in research and station maintenance, among other activities, NASA says.

She also participated in the historic all-female spacewalk with astronaut Jessica Meir during the fall.

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Astronauts who participated in first all-female spacewalk in human history speak
Astronauts who participated in first all-female spacewalk in human history speak

According to a bio on NASA’s website, Koch is an electrical engineer who was selected to become a U.S. astronaut in 2013. She completed her training two years later.

The record for longest spaceflight by a U.S. male astronaut is held by Scott Kelly, with 340 days.

The world record is 15 months, set in the 1990s by a Russian cosmonaut aboard the former Mir space station, the Associated Press reports.

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The Canadian record for longest spaceflight is 204 days, set by David Saint-Jacques this year.

–With files from the Associated Press