Christina Koch, who just broke the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, is starting 2020 off with some stellar views from space.
Koch, who initially made history this fall when she participated in the first all-female spacewalk before setting her own spaceflight record at 289 days on Dec. 28th, posted a beautiful photo days after her accomplishment to celebrate the start of a new decade — and America’s plans to return to the moon.
“First moonrise seen from the @Space_Station in the decade we go back,” she wrote on Twitter.
Koch, 40, is currently serving aboard the International Space Station. In October, she became the fourteenth woman to walk in space in more than 200 NASA spacewalks since 1998. She broke the record set by former space station commander Peggy Whitson.
According to Space.com, this will be a busy decade for NASA as the agency plans on landing the first woman and a man on the moon by 2024. The project, called the Artemis program, would be the first manned moon landing since Apollo 17 in 1972.
In addition, the website reported NASA was working on a deep-space capsule that could carry up to four astronauts to the moon or even as far as Mars.
“2019 will be remembered as the year the Artemis program really became a reality with real spaceflight hardware built, U.S. commercial and international partnerships standing behind it, and hardworking teams across NASA and the world coming together like never before to quickly and sustainably explore the Moon and use what we learn there to enable humanity’s next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement last month, adding: “And wait until you see what we do in 2020!”
The agency also aims to open to the International Space Station to commercial businesses and even tourism this decade. As part of the plan, tourists could potentially head into space for up to 30 days, with NASA partnering with private companies like Elon Musk’s Space X and Boeing to send people up.
However, last month’s test capsule launch between NASA and Boeing hit a snag as an automated timing error preventing it from reaching the International Space Station as planned.