At 15:14 pm At the Eastern time (Pi time on Pi Day), Christina Koch embarked on the Soyuz spacecraft MS-12 from Kazakhstan for the International Space Station and History.
She was escorted by her astronaut colleague Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexy Ovhinin on the relatively short six-and-a-half-hour flight before docking with the ISS around 8:45 pm.
On March 29, Chef Anne McClain is scheduled to be the first all-female spacewalk in history.
In an interview last month, Koch cited her education in rural Jacksonville, North Carolina, as one of the reasons she was interested in space.
"Growing up in eastern North Carolina was a beautiful place, and I count that as one of the many reasons I was interested in things like space exploration," Koch said. "Of course the North Carolina Sea is a beautiful thing we had, and of course that was one of our treasures, and of course NC State and all the facilities there."
According to her NASA biography, Koch studied her undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and physics at NC State before completing her master's degree in electrical engineering.
Koch is thrilled with the experiments she conducts aboard the ISS.
"In some medical experiments we can actually participate as subjects," she said. Therefore, we examine some of the effects of microgravity on long-haul aircraft to inform our study of future mission design. That is exciting. Of course, as a physicist and electrical engineer, I'm very excited about many of the science experiments we're going to do. Matching with this is March 1
At the PARI (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute) in Brevard, the education team is always looking for new ways to get teens interested in science.
They're hoping for Koch's contribution to NASA and exploration Space will help inspire the next generation.
"We are most pleased to have an astronaut from North Carolina who goes to the International Space Station and will be there for one night while," Tim said Delisle Field Studies Officer at PARI. "This is a really exciting thing for us here and we are working with many kids coming to our website and always looking for an inspiring figure suc They can reach them and say that one day I will do that. "
PARI hosts a Redstone Rocket Engine, which features another important female NASA story, Katherine Johnson. Their contributions to the Mercury program were highlighted in 2016 in the movie "Hidden Figures".
Delisle hopes Koch's contributions will help bring to light the many women who contributed to the history of space exploration.
"One of the things we see We are often ignored when we look at the syllabus taught to children about space science, and the kind of inspiration and role models is that women's contributions are often forced to hopefully this will change, "said Delisle.
Koch was selected by NASA in 2013 from a list of more than 6,100 applications. She has been training for this mission for five years.