Astronaut Christina Koch gives Michigan a shoutout from space station

    Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

    NASA astronaut Christina Koch on Wednesday evening gave the Mitten state a shoutout from her location onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

    Koch, a Grand Rapids native, sent greetings in a tweet and Instagram post. She included an aerial photograph of Michigan, seen from space at nighttime.

    “Good evening, Michigan,” Koch wrote in both posts. “The mitten waves back, even at night.” 

    Koch made history last month alongside fellow astronaut and ISS resident Jessica Meir, when the two conducted NASA’s first all-female spacewalk.

    The pair — both members of NASA’s 2013 astronaut class — conducted the walk on Oct. 18 to repair a battery charge and discharge unit that “failed to activate after new lithium-ion batteries were installed on the space station’s exterior structure,” per NASA. 

    The first all-female spacewalk was originally scheduled for March 29, with Koch and astronaut Anne McClain assigned to it. But the possibility of the all-women mission was scrubbed after McClain — lacking a spacesuit that effectively fit her — decided to swap places with astronaut Nick Hague.

    Koch is scheduled to remain onboard the space station as a flight engineer until February 2020. She is spending a total of 328 days in space, which means she’ll set the record for longest single spaceflight by a woman, according to the agency. 

    C.J. Moore
    C.J. Moore covers the environment and the Capitol. She previously worked at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland as a public affairs staff science writer. She also previously covered crop sustainability and coal pollution issues for Great Lakes Echo. In addition, she served as editor in chief at The State News and covered its academics and research beat. She is a journalism graduate student at Michigan State University.