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Michigan native returns to Earth after 11 months in space

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

A record-setting astronaut who was born in Michigan is home along with two of her crew mates, NASA said Thursday.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch is helped out of the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft Thursday just minutes after she, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, and ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, landed their Soyuz MS-13 capsule in a remote area in Kazakhstan. Koch returned to Earth after logging 328 days in space, the longest spaceflight in history by a woman.

Christina Koch, who set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman in history, returned Thursday to Earth from the International Space Station along with Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency, officials said.

The three made a safe, parachute-assisted landing at 4:12 a.m. in Kazakhstan.

More: Koch reflects on what she missed Grand Rapids native sets records

Koch, NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin launched into space on March 14, 2019. Her first journey into space of 328 days is the second-longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut and also places her seventh on the list of cumulative time in space for American astronauts with one or more missions.

She completed 5,248 orbits of the Earth and a journey of 139 million miles, roughly the equivalent of 291 trips to the Moon and back. She also conducted six spacewalks, including the first three all-woman spacewalks, spending 42 hours and 15 minutes outside the space station.

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez