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A Day In Space


What’s it like to see Earth from space? “It takes my breath away,” astronaut Christina Koch says. “The blues are very bright. And it glows.”

In February 2020, Koch completed a mission mission Grigoriy Sisoev/Sputnik via AP an assignment; a job to be carried out (noun) Peggy Whitson holds the record for the oldest woman to go on a space mission. on the International Space Station (ISS). It was the second-longest stay in space by an American astronaut. It was the longest by a female astronaut: 328 days. Here’s how Koch spent them.


Daily Rounds

Koch’s job on the ISS was to do science experiments. The work could be challenging. There’s less gravity gravity PW_Gravity SOLSTOCK—GETTY IMAGES the force that pulls things toward the Earth or any other large body, such as a planet or a moon (noun) Waterslide designers rely on gravity to get riders from the top of a slide to the bottom. in space. Tools have a way of drifting out of reach. “There’s no putting things down,” she says. “Everything just floats around.”

Koch’s experiments will help us prepare for future space missions. For instance, she studied how vegetables grow in space. She also studied how spaceflight affects the human body. She tested robots and studied how fire behaves in space.

Koch works on a science experiment. These experiments will help us prepare for future space missions.


Astronauts work long days on the ISS. And they spend two hours a day on exercise machines. This keeps their muscles strong.

Then it’s time to wind down. Koch ate dinner with crewmates. Meals were packaged and had to be heated up. But there was variety: Asian stir-fries, lasagna, and pizza.

ISS crew members gather to eat dinner. Here, they feast on canned fruit and packaged meals.


Bedrooms on the ISS are just big enough for a sleeping bag. Each night, Koch zipped herself in and floated off to sleep. “That was the moment of release,” she says. “I could finally relax.”

Koch photographs the Earth as the ISS orbits 259 miles above the Pacific Ocean.


A Historic Moment

On October 18, 2019, Koch (right) and her crewmate, Jessica Meir, did the first all-female spacewalk. This is when astronauts make repairs repair MEDIAPHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES the act of fixing something (noun) I needed repairs on my computer. on the outside of the ISS.

During her mission in space, Koch completed six spacewalks. “Imagine being outside the space station, looking at the Earth,” she says. “It’s just incredible.”