I want to be the first woman on the Moon

Christina Koch: She has just spent a record-breaking 328 days in space. © Getty

Nasa astronaut Christina Koch just made history by breaking the record for the longest, single spaceflight by a female. Next, she says, she would love to be the first woman on the Moon.

What’s happening

Christina Koch returned to Earth last week.

After touching down, she smiled and gave an ecstatic thumbs-up to the crowd. Scientists helped her out of her space capsule and took her for a check-up.

Doctors said she was in good shape after spending nearly a year in space – the record for a woman.

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During her flight, Koch has completed over 200 investigations.

Nasa scientist Bryan Dansberry said the most important thing is all the data they have been able to collect.

They wanted to see how her body reacted during her time in space.

Dansberry said, “As we look forward to going to the Moon... and eventually to Mars, we really have to understand the impact on the human body.”

As well as the Moon, Koch has said that she would love to be chosen for a future mission to Mars.

In an interview in 2016, she said that, if she was selected, she would miss her husband and her family.

“I’d ask them to make small surprises for me. A handwritten card when you’ve been away for 15 months can be the best thing imaginable.”

Is Christina Koch a heroine?

Some say…

Of course she is. Just by extending her original six-month mission and reaching this record of 328 days, Koch has contributed to a better understanding of what spaceflight can do to the human body. It surpasses astronaut Peggy Whitson’s previous record of 288 days. Nasa astronaut Scott Kelly still holds the all-time record with 340 days in space.

Others think…

She is just lucky, not so much a heroine. Thousands of people would give anything to be able to go up into space and become famous. If you asked people to volunteer to be on a mission to the Moon or to Mars, the queue would go for miles and miles. Christina Koch is someone we all envy!

You Decide

  1. Would you like to be an astronaut?

Activities

  1. Draw a diagram showing the Earth, the Moon and Mars. Mark the distances between them and the number of days it would take Christina Koch to get to each.

Some People Say...

“I think we’re going to the Moon because it’s in the nature of the human being to face challenges.”

Neil Armstrong (1930-2012), US astronaut and first man on the Moon

What do you think?

Word Watch

Ecstatic
Very, very happy.
Capsule
The small part of a rocket that brings an astronaut safely down to land in the sea, dangling from a giant parachute.
Data
Information that scientists need.
Moon
The brightest and largest object in our night sky, the Moon makes Earth a more liveable planet by moderating our home planet’s wobble on its axis that leads to a relatively stable climate. It also causes tides, creating a rhythm that has guided humans for thousands of years.
Peggy Whitson
Born in 1960, Dr Peggy Whitson has spent 665 days in space, over 10 spacewalks over several years. She is now retired.

Subjects

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