WATCH: Astronaut Christina Koch to return Thursday after record-setting mission

(CNN) — NASA Astronaut Christina Koch is returning to Earth after the longest single spaceflight by a woman.

Koch arrived on the International Space Station on March 14 for her spaceflight mission. She is scheduled to return Thursday after 329 days, breaking Peggy Whitson’s record of 288 consecutive days in space.

Koch’s is also the second longest single spaceflight by any US astronaut, NASA said in a release.

In her historic trip to the station, Koch has orbited the Earth 5,248 times, conducted six space walks and spent a total of 42 hours and 15 minutes outside the station, the release said.

The mission will help NASA get ready to go to Mars.

“Koch’s extended mission will provide researchers the opportunity to observe effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman as the agency plans to return to the Moon under the Artemis program and prepare for human exploration of Mars,” the release said.

Live coverage of the return will begin 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, with landing taking place at 3 a.m. Thursday. Watch here.

Read more here.

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