North Carolina

NC State grad heads into space Thursday, will be in the first all-female spacewalk

NC State grad Christina Koch arrives at the ISS

After a four-orbit, six-hour journey to the International Space Station, NC State alumnus and NASA astronaut Christina Koch is the first crew member to enter the hatch and be greeted by the ISS crew. This marks her first spaceflight.
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After a four-orbit, six-hour journey to the International Space Station, NC State alumnus and NASA astronaut Christina Koch is the first crew member to enter the hatch and be greeted by the ISS crew. This marks her first spaceflight.

A North Carolina State University graduate is taking off Thursday for the International Space Station, where she is expected to make history.

Christina Koch is an astronaut and crew member on Expedition 59, according to NASA. She’s expected to be in the “first-ever spacewalk with all-female spacewalkers” later this month, NASA said.

Koch’s alma mater is celebrating her first flight into space with a 3:14 p.m. launch viewing in Engineering Building II, according to an N.C. State website post.

Christina Koch, a NASA astronaut and NC State graduate, is part of a crew that was launched into space on at 3:14 p.m. EST on March 14, 2019, with plans for an extended stay at the International Space Station.

“She’ll take a few trinkets for the two state institutions where she received the bulk of her education before she entered the space program, the North Carolina School of Science and Math and NC State,” the university said.

Among those items is a “custom designed printed circuit ... featuring (an) astronaut version of the ‘Circuit Wolf’ icon, N.C. State said.

NC State engineering and physics alumnus Christina Hammock Koch will take off for her first mission to the International Space Station on March 14. She did a live interview from Star City, Russia on Feb. 22, 2019.

Koch, who was raised in Jacksonville, will be a flight engineer during the six-month mission, according to ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner.

“Just growing up in eastern N.C. it was a beautiful place and I count that as one of the many reasons I became interested in things like space and exploration.,” she said, according to the station.

NC State engineering and physics alumnus Christina Koch is heading to the International Space Station on M arch 14, 2019. and will be part of the first all-female space walk team later in the month. Here are five things to know about her.

In 2013, NASA says it chose Koch and seven other people to be in its astronaut class. They were chosen out of more than 6,100 applicants, according to a press release.

Koch said she hopes to inspire people to go after their passions and “couldn’t feel more ready” for the launch, according to N.C. State.

The International Space Station is a laboratory that orbits the Earth, according to NASA. Koch will also serve on Expedition 60, the agency said.

Christina Koch, who grew up in Jacksonville, NC and received both her undergraduate and Masters degree at NC State chosen by NASA to serve with a crew on the International Space Station scheduled to launch in 2019.

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Simone Jasper is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.


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