Astronaut Christina Koch

As we curate and install a beautiful new space-themed wallpaper and welcome a cosmically cool traveling exhibit, Be the Astronaut (May 28 – September 12, 2021), we’ve got space adventure fever! The same could be said for Michigan-born Christina Koch (b. 1979), whose longings for space travel drove her to “be the astronaut.”  
 
As a child, Christina loved things that made her feel small: the ocean, Antarctica, and the night sky. Her passions later found her entering the space program. From 2019-2020, Christina spent a record-smashing 328 days in space on the International Space Station, an orbiting laboratory and observatory 250 miles above Earth. While working with microgravity crystals and exploring long-term mission impacts on the human body, Christina became the woman with single longest spaceflight and made history with an all-woman spacewalk.  

When asked what she liked best about living in space, Christina described doing humankind’s coolest work as number one and number two? “Being able to float,” she said, “Microgravity sure makes it fun to get around.” Today, Christina’s part of NASA’s Artemis program, which will land the first woman and next man on the Moon, and later—move humankind forward to Mars! 
 
Christina’s parents have a Kalamazoo connection! Her father, Ron, served as a medical training residency at a local hospital when he met her mother, Barbara, who worked as a medical technician. 

We’ll honor Christina with features in our upcoming Women in Air & Space Interactive Timeline and Women of NASA exhibits, coming in June.  

Posted by Nikki Statler at 12:30 PM
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