It was the 11 launch to ISS for the Northrop Grumman Corporation and six months since the last one at Wallops. She is schedule to be on the ISS until February of next year, which will make her set a record for longest spaceflight for a woman. Lt. Commander Chaffee, who was selected by NASA to fly on the first manned mission of the Apollo program in 1967, but who died in a tragic accident with fellow crewmates, Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Ed White II after a fire occurred in the space capsule during a simulation of the Apollo 1 launch. The record is now held by Scott Kelly who was in orbit for a year in 2015 - 2016.
Koch first arrived at the International Space Station on March 14 and plans to remain in orbit until February 2020. Earlier today, the NASA astronaut learned she won't be coming home for another 10 months. She will now be part of three expeditions, starting with Expedition 59, which is already going on, and ending with 61.
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NASA announced the extended assignments this week. Koch will come close to the overall NASA record now held by Scott Kelly, who spent 340 days in space from 2015 to 2016. "Christina's extended mission will provide additional data for NASA's Human Research Program and continue to support future missions to the Moon and Mars". These opportunities also have demonstrated that there is a significant degree of variability in human response to spaceflight and it's important to determine the acceptable degree of change for both men and women. For this launch, Northrop Grumman's Antares medium-class rocket used more of its performance margin, increasing the vital cargo carried aboard Cygnus to approximately 7,600 pounds (3,450 kilograms), a record shipment for the rocket. The Caribou, Maine, native was selected as an astronaut in 2013, while serving as an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital. Morgan is a physician and former U.S. Army soldier while Meir has focused on the physiology of animals and is a former Harvard medical school professor.