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The mice in NASA's space experiment

Enlarge Image The mice in NASA's space experiment. NASA

The two other astronauts will return to Earth on October 3 but Koch's stay would be extended until February 2020, which would beat the record held by another female USA astronaut, Peggy Whitson, who spent 288 days aboard the ISS in 2016-17, NASA said.

FILE - U.S. astronaut Christina Koch, member of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), looks on prior the launch of Soyuz MS-12 space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, March 14, 2019. This was the 11th cargo mission carrying supplies headed for the astronauts manning the International Space Station, and a new development enabled the 24-hour late load of critical freight.

The record for an extended spaceflight by an American is held by USA astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent 340 days aboard the ISS in 2015-16 with Russian Mikhail Kornienko. Retired astronaut Peggy Whitson is the current record-holder. "I have known that this was a possibility for a long time and it's truly a dream come true".

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Part of NASA's study of the effects of long spaceflights on the human body, Koch will spend 328 days in space.

NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, set to leave Earth on July 20, will also enjoy an extended stay aboard the ISS.

The overall NASA record of 340 days, set in 2016, is held by astronaut Scott Kelly in an experiment to compare his physical and mental health to his identical twin Mark Kelly, who remained on Earth. "Christina's extended mission will provide additional data for NASA's Human Research Program and continue to support future missions to the Moon and Mars".

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This NASA photo obtained August 27, 2015 shows NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren corrals the supply of fresh fruit that arrived August 25, 2015 on the Kounotori 5 H-II Transfer Vehicle. She's on her first mission to space and it's about to get more epic.

Morgan, Meir, and Skripochka are scheduled to touch down in spring 2020.

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