Christina Hammock Koch is an American engineer and NASA astronaut of the class of 2013. She is an alumni of the University Of Ghana, Legon. Her trip to space is regarded as the longest continuous spaceflight ever undertaken by a female astronaut.
She took off to space on 12th March 2019 and returned to earth on 6th January 2020. Christina’s wish of coming back on earth was granted by the authorities. She returned to earth with the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov and Italy’s Luca Parmitano. It landed in Kazakhstan, almost a year after Koch last set foot on earth.
While in space, the 41 year old reminisced about her time in Ghana with friends, the life changing experience and beautiful perspectives she had.
The US astronaut took a semester to study in Ghana while pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Physics at North Carolina State University.
“I am so overwhelmed and happy right now,” the 41-year-old told reporters, shortly after being slid out of the scorched craft and helped to a chair. According to TheGuardian, Christina made 5,248 orbits of the Earth, witnessing 16 sunrises and sunsets every day, and travel 223m km.
Her research during the mission included growing protein crystals for potential use as treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons.