But instead of staying on the station for six months, as most NASA astronauts do, Stine Koch plans to stay on the station until February 2020. That means she will spend 328 days in orbit, or nearly a full year, even though she can't beat Scott Kelly's 340-day-in-orbit record, the history of NASA astronauts. But she will beat Paige Whitson, the record holder who has been in space for 288 days in a row.
A long stay may help NASA better understand the effects of long-term space flights on the human body. During a year-long mission in space, Cort Kelly also provided his own blood samples and other health analyses so that NASA could see how his body changed in orbit. NASA then compared Kurt Kelly's health data with those of his twin brother, Mark Kelly, a former NASA astronaut who remained on Earth for the entire year. The results are surprising, suggesting that space flight can cause serious physical disturbances, such as disrupting DNA and affecting cognition. Stine Koch will also contribute to this field of research for a long time in orbit, NASA said.