Closing The Gap

NASA astronaut Christina Koch breaks record for longest single spaceflight conducted by a woman

NASA astronaut Christina Hammock Koch, a member of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 59/60, attends her final exam at the Gagarin Cosmonauts' Training Centre in Star City outside Moscow on February 20, 2019.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

After making history in October as one of the first women to conduct an all-female spacewalk, NASA astronaut Christina Koch is breaking another glass ceiling.

On Dec. 28, Koch broke the record for having the longest single spaceflight by a woman, with 289 days in space. Retired astronaut Peggy Whitson previously held that record, with 288 days in space.


Koch, who arrived at the space station on March 14, 2019, was initially scheduled to make history on March 29 with astronaut Anne McClain, as the first all-female crew to perform a spacewalk. However, the launch date for that mission was delayed "due in part to spacesuit availability at the station," reported NASA.

McClain, whose space mission ended over the summer, returned back to Earth, and Koch was joined in space by astronaut Jessica Meir in September.

On Oct. 18, Koch and Meir performed the first official all-female spacewalk, when they traveled outside of the International Space Station to replace a faulty battery charge/discharge unit.

Koch and Meir, who are both graduates of NASA's 2013 class, are the 14th and 15th women, respectively, to conduct a spacewalk.

In October, Koch spoke about the significance of her mission with Meir on NPR's "Short Wave" podcast. She also spoke about the progress the industry is making in terms of welcoming more women into the field.

"In the past, women haven't always been at the table, and it's wonderful to be contributing to the human spaceflight program at a time when all contributions are being accepted, when everyone has a role, and that can lead in turn to an increased chance for success," she said.

Koch, whose space mission won't end until February 2020, is scheduled to be in space for a total of 328 days.

Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!

Don't miss: NASA is making a new attempt at an all-female spacewalk this week — here's how it would make history

ISS Commander: Bezos will have a bigger impact on space than Branson or Musk
ISS Commander: Bezos will have a bigger impact on space than Branson or Musk