Christina Koch Breaks Peggy Whitson’s Record For Longest Stay In Space

Christina Koch recently broke the record set by retired astronaut Peggy Whitson for the longest spaceflight by a woman with 289 days in space, according to NASA. 

The 40-year-old Expedition 61 flight engineer exceeded Whitson’s record of 289 days, 5 hours and 1 minute on Saturday (Dec. 28) at 6:16 p.m. CST (0016 GMT on Dec. 29).

“Having the opportunity to be up here for so long is truly an honor,” said Christina Koch during a series of press interviews. “Peggy is a heroine of mine and has also been kind enough to mentor me through the years, so it is a reminder to give back and to mentor when I get back.”

The world record for the single longest mission by any space explorer, man or woman, is held by cosmonaut Valery Polyakov, who spent 438 consecutive days on board Russia’s former space station Mir from January 1994 to March 1995. Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka holds the world record for the most cumulative time in space at 878 days over the course of five missions.

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