HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — After breaking a spaceflight record, a NASA astronaut is preparing to head home to Galveston.
Christina Koch is back on Earth after being gone for nearly 11 months. The NASA astronaut and Galveston resident took a spaceflight of 328 days, which is more time than any other American female in history.
Hours after she landed, she posted on social media, saying, “This journey has been everyone’s journey. Thank you to all involved in the success of our mission, and for giving me the opportunity to carry everyone’s dreams into space. I’m filled with gratitude to be back on the planet!”
Koch told ABC News that she bets her husband missed her help with housework. On Thursday, ABC13 spoke with her husband, Robert Koch. He told us about her safe trip back to Earth, “It’s exciting, for sure.”
Staying in space for that long isn’t easy, especially when it comes to packing for that length of time. On Thursday, teachers got an up-close look at how she did it.
This happened around the same time that the Space Exploration Educators Conference was underway at Space Center Houston. More than 600 teachers, from more than 10 countries were there, including Devon Sinclair, who traveled from Minnesota.
“I never in my life thought I’d be able to do this and find out about astronauts and trips to space,” Sinclair said.
There were local teachers too, including Kelly Swanson, who teaches science at Klein ISD.
“Just the tricks that I’m learning in there and seeing what an astronaut has to pack in, that’s all going straight into my classroom,” Swanson explained.
For three days, teachers will listen to speakers, and take part in different hands-on experiments. It’s something Space Center Houston has offered for 26 years.
Now is more crucial than ever as NASA hopes current students help them get back to the moon, and beyond.
“It’s exciting for me because I was a classroom teacher for 10 years and I knew the challenges I had,” Space Center Houston’s Vice President of Education, Daniel Newmyer said. “So, this conference is about giving teachers that support they need. They may not have it in their systems.”
A real-life lesson was thrown into the classroom Thursday. Koch’s historic time in space not only provided lesson plan ideas for educators, but they also believe it’ll inspire young girls to dream big.
“It’s really inspirational for all of my students seeing a woman in space,” Swanson said. “It makes you feel like, this is something I can do. She looks like me. I could do this. This could be in my future as well.”