February 6, 2020 / 9:30 AM / 19 days ago

NASA astronaut Koch returns to Earth after record space mission

NASA astronaut Christina Koch reacts shortly after landing of the Russian Soyuz MS-13 space capsule in a remote area southeast of Zhezkazgan in the Karaganda region of Kazakhstan, February 6, 2020. Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - A capsule carrying a crew of three from the International Space Station, including record-setting United States astronaut Christina Koch, landed in Kazakhstan on Thursday, a live feed by Russian space agency Roscosmos showed.

The touchdown on a snow-covered steppe also marked the return to earth of Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russia’s Alexander Skvortsov.

Koch’s 328-day space mission broke the record for the longest continuous stay in space by a woman, previously held by NASA’s Peggy Whitson.

Launched into orbit last March, Koch’s mission was extended in April from its original span of six months to nearly a year after she was already aboard the station.

Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Toby Chopra and John Stonestreet

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