Christina Koch is on a space mission longer than that of any other female astronaut before her.
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.
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.
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.
The Canadian record for longest spaceflight is 204 days, set by David Saint-Jacques this year.
–With files from the Associated Press