NASA's Christina Koch to Set History as First Woman to Orbit Moon

NASA’s Christina Koch to Make History as First Woman to Orbit the Moon

/ 08:07 PM April 04, 2023

NASA astronaut Christina Hammock Koch will make history as the first woman to orbit the moon. Koch is part of the Artemis program, which plans to land the first female and the next man on the moon by 2024.

On Monday, NASA and the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, announced the names of the four-person crew of astronauts. Individuals from the United States and Canada will comprise the team embarking on a mission to orbit the moon.

Koch, appointed as the mission specialist, will accompany Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen and NASA Astronauts Victor J. Glover Jr. and G. Reid Wiseman. Glover Jr. will make history as the first person of color to orbit the moon.


In a NASA video on Monday, Koch said, “When I first found out I was assigned to Artemis II, I was in disbelief. It is a great honor and responsibility, ready to make everyone proud and fulfill what this mission truly means to all humanity.”

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Christina Koch’s Background

NASA selected Koch, an electrical engineering and physics degree holder, as an astronaut in 2013. Koch hails from Jacksonville, Florida. She completed her education at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham before attending North Carolina State University.

She obtained bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and physics and a master’s in electrical engineering. Koch made a speech to NC State graduates from the International Space Station in 2019.

She has already made history by completing the longest single spaceflight by a female. Koch spent 328 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS) from March 2019 to February 2020.

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Koch is now preparing for her next mission as part of the Artemis program. NASA planned the mission, called Artemis II, for 2024 and will see Koch and her crewmates orbit the moon aboard the Orion spacecraft.


The Artemis program plans to establish a sustainable presence on the moon by 2028, focusing on exploration, scientific discovery, and commercial use.

Koch’s mission will be a crucial step in achieving these goals, and her presence as the first woman to orbit the moon will be a landmark moment for space exploration.

Her Story

Koch’s journey toward becoming an astronaut started in 2001 with her participation in the NASA Academy program at Goddard Space Flight Center. During the program, she worked as an electrical engineer.

In 2013, NASA selected Koch as one of eight members of its 21st astronaut class. Koch completed her astronaut candidate training in 2015, just two years after being chosen.

During her speech to graduates, Koch encouraged them not to feel restricted by a single path to achieving their dreams or a rigid set of expectations to fulfill in life. Instead, she urged them to pursue their passions and interests.

Reflecting on her lifelong ambition, Koch revealed that she had always dreamed of being an astronaut. She stated, “To me, there’s never really been a time when I didn’t want to become an astronaut. Going back as far as I can remember, it’s what I always dreamed of.”

Koch’s Achievements

Koch has already achieved several milestones in her career as an astronaut. In addition to her record-breaking spaceflight, she completed several spacewalks. She was part of the first all-female spacewalk with fellow astronaut Jessica Meir in 2019.

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In 2020, she was named one of Time magazine’s top 100 influential people worldwide. The community has praised her for her dedication to science and exploration.

Why She’s Perfect for the Job

During her statement on Monday, Koch expressed her excitement about collaborating with her fellow crew members for the Artemis II mission. She noted that the other crew members have a military background. While she, on the other hand, brings a more technical engineering perspective to the team.

She believes this diversity in their skill sets will complement one another. It will also enable them to work cohesively towards their goals. As an engineering expert, Koch aims to contribute significantly to the mission.

As the first female to orbit the moon, she will inspire and encourage generations of girls and women to follow in her footsteps. Koch’s dedication to science and exploration inspires us all, and we wish her the best of luck on her mission.

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