Houston Matters

Christina Hammock Koch shoots for the moon

After spending a record-breaking length of time in space, Christina H. Koch’s next mission sends her around the moon.


Christina H. Koch on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station


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Many children dream of becoming astronauts and flying into outer space one day. In 2019, Christina Hammock Koch (“cook”) manifested that dream into a reality when she departed for what become a 328-day mission aboard the International Space Station.

While aboard the ISS, Koch conducted research via a diverse array of experiments from testing DNA repair to studying the effects of microgravity on plants. She and fellow astronaut Jessica Meir were also the first to conduct an all-woman spacewalk.

Now, Koch is one of four astronauts who will be the first crew in over 50 years to fly to the moon as part of the Artemis II mission, which launches in 2024.

The crew of NASA's Artemis II mission (left to right): NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch, Reid Wiseman (seated), Victor Glover, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen.

Artemis II is a flyby mission, where the Orion capsule will fly to and around the moon to test the capabilities of the spacecraft to ensure success in future missions that will return astronauts to its surface.

Artemis II will test the systems of the Orion spacecraft on a flight to the Moon

In the audio above, Koch talks with Houston Matters producer Joshua Zinn about her dreams of going to space, adjusting to life back on earth just as a pandemic was breaking out, and her expectations for the Artemis II flight.

Joshua Zinn

Joshua Zinn

Producer, Houston Matters

Joshua is a producer for Houston Matters on News 88.7 as well as the host of Encore Houston on Houston Public Media Classical. He joined Houston Public Media as a radio intern in 2014 and became a full-time announcer the following year. Now he prepares segments and occasionally records interviews...

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