Christina Koch's record-setting spaceflight may help in the future

WATCH Astronaut welcomed home by excited pooch after a year in space

"It just looked exactly like you might see in the pictures except way more brighter, way more real, and I literally exclaimed, I just said, 'Oh my goodness!' It was just phenomenal, and it was that moment when I realized I had just left our planet", Koch said.

The end of NC State grad Christina Koch's year in space included a reunion with her dog LBD, and its overwhelmed reaction was captured in a video that is getting millions of views.

Koch is a Jacksonville native and went to White Oak High school for a few years.

"After 328 days in space, the first six days back on Earth were full of just as much wonder and excitement", Koch said in a press conference Thursday.

Ms Koch returned to her home in Galveston, Texas, three days after landing in Kazakhstan. She paws at the door and wags her tail vigorously as Christina Koch and her husband approach.

As NASA gears up for the next generation of lunar and, eventually, Mars-bound missions, studying how microgravity affects the body will be crucial as longer spaceflights become the norm.

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She surpassed the previous record set for a single spaceflight by a woman - 289 days, set by NASA veteran Peggy Whitson in 2017 - on December 28, 2019.

"She's from the Humane Society and she couldn't be sweeter", Koch told CBS News.

Koch, an electrical engineer, was part of the first-ever all-woman spacewalk along with fellow USA astronaut Jessica Weir in 2019.

Currently, three astronauts remain at the space station, including Jessica Meir who took part in the record-breaking all-female spacewalk with Koch previous year.

Koch's time in space was history-making.

"We take daily sensory inputs for granted until they are absent ..."

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