Christina Koch: 5 Things To Know About Female Astronaut Heading To The Moon In 1st Mission Since Apollo
Christina Koch, a veteran NASA astronaut, is set to embark on a historic mission to the moon in 2024 as part of the Artemis program. She will be the first woman to set foot on the lunar surface, and her mission will mark the first time humans have been on the moon since the Apollo program in the 1970s. Here are five things to know about Christina Koch and her upcoming mission.
- Early Life and Education
Christina Hammock Koch was born on January 29, 1979, in Michigan. She grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Physics and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University. Koch later obtained a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the same institution.
- NASA Career
Koch was selected as a NASA astronaut in 2013 and has completed one spaceflight mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2019-2020, which lasted for 328 days, making it the second-longest spaceflight mission by a U.S. astronaut. During her time on the ISS, Koch conducted multiple spacewalks, helped conduct scientific research, and participated in various experiments.
- Upcoming Mission
Koch was selected as a member of the Artemis team in 2021, which is NASA’s program aimed at sending the first woman and the first person of color to the moon. Koch will be part of the Artemis III mission, which will see her travel to the moon along with three other crew members. The mission is expected to launch in 2024, and Koch will be responsible for the spacecraft’s power and propulsion systems.
- Honors and Awards
Throughout her career, Koch has been recognized for her achievements and contributions to the field of aerospace engineering. She has received numerous awards, including the NASA Space Flight Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.
- Personal Life
Koch is married and has a son. She is an avid runner and has completed numerous marathons, including one during her time on the ISS, where she ran a virtual Boston Marathon. Koch is also involved in various community service and outreach programs, including volunteering at schools and participating in STEM education initiatives.
Christina Koch is an accomplished astronaut who has achieved many firsts throughout her career. Her upcoming mission to the moon will mark another historic moment in space exploration and will inspire future generations of women and girls to pursue careers in STEM fields.