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Astronaut from North Carolina launches against history

at 3:14 pm Eastern Time (Pi Time on Pi Day) launched Christina Koch against the International Space Station and the story aboard the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft from Kazakhstan.

She joined with astronaut Nick Haag and cosmonaut Alexy Ovhinin on the relatively short half and half hour flight before docking with the ISS around 8:45 pm

On March 29, Koch is scheduled to join Anne McClain during it first female spacewalk in history.

In an interview last month, Koch appreciated her upbringing in rural Jacksonville, North Carolina, as one of the reasons she became interested in space.

"Growing up in Eastern North Carolina was a beautiful place, and I count on it as one of the many reasons I became interested in things like space and exploration," Koch said. we have been one of our treasures and, of course, the NC state and all the possibilities there. "

According to her NASA biography, Koch studied at the NC state for her bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and physics before getting her master's degree in electrical engineering. [1

9659002] Koch is excited about the experiments she will lead aboard the ISS.

"For some of the medical experiments we actually get involved as subjects," she said. So we are looking at some of the effects of micro-gravity on spacecraft with long duration to inform our study of future march assignment design, so it is exciting and of course i am very physical and physical engineer about many of the physical scientific experiments we are going to do. "

Appropriate, March 14 is also Dress for STEM, wearing purple on Pi Day. Women in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) bore a lot of attention to the need for more women in STEM careers.

At PARIS (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute) in Brevard, the education team always seeks new ways to inspire young people to become interested in science.

They hope that Koch's contribution to NASA and space exploration will help inspire the next generation.

"What we are most pleased about is that we have an astronaut from North Carolina to the International Space Station and will be up there while," said Tim Delisle, field study officer at PARI. "This is a very exciting thing for us here, and we work with many children who come to our site and are always looking for the inspiring figure that they can reach out and say that is what I will do one day."

Redstone Rocket Engine housed in PARI. (Photo Credit: Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute)

PARI has a Redstone Rocket Engine, which another woman important to NASA's history worked with, Katherine Johnson. Her contribution to the Mercury program was highlighted in the 2016 movie "Hidden Figures."

Delisle hopes Koch's contribution helps to highlight the many women who have contributed to the history of space science.

"One of the things we see being ignored a lot when we look at the curriculum that is taught the children about space science and just the kind of inspiration and role models is that many times the women's contribution to the field contributes and has something that This happens, hopefully it will to begin to change, "Delisle said.

Koch was selected by NASA 2013 in a list of more than 6,100 applications. She has been training for this assignment for five years.

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