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Tuesday, July 28, 2020


NASA Astronaut Christina Koch inside the Cupola Observation Module.

Christina Koch, NASA astronaut, who has participated in International Space Station duty (expeditions 59, 60, 61) is the most recent female astronaut to return to Earth. Her 328 days in microgravity set the record for the longest time in space for a woman during a single mission. During that time, she worked on hundreds of experiments, including studies of protein crystals and plants in space. 

She participated in a number of studies to support future exploration missions, including research into how the human body adjusts to weightlessness, isolation, radiation and the stress of long-duration spaceflight. Koch earned bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and physics and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, and worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics, contributing to scientific instruments on several missions studying cosmology and astrophysics.

Koch served as station chief of the American Samoa Observatory and has contributed to the development of instruments used to study radiation particles for the Juno mission and the Van Allen Probe.

Cupola Observational Module
The cupola is a small module designed for the observation of operations outside the station such as robotic activities, the approach of vehicles, and spacewalks. Its six side windows and a direct nadir viewing window provide spectacular views of Earth and celestial objects. The windows are equipped with shutters to protect them from contamination and collisions with orbital debris or micrometeorites. The cupola house the robotic workstation that controls the Canadarm2.
Height: 4.7 feet
Diameter: 9.8 feet
Mass: 4,136 pounds

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