Christina Koch: History Making Astronaut, Two-Step Trick to Fall Asleep, Wellness Barbie

Christina Koch Makes History With the Longest Continuous Spaceflight by a Female Astronaut

By Chloe Robinson, Haley Brettschneider, and Julia Carroll


Christina Koch has finally landed back on earth in Kazakhstan, after her 328 day journey in space, the longest continuous spaceflight by a female astronaut, has come to an end. She said she would miss both her crewmates and the views she had in space, but still admitted to missing the simple pleasures of earth, such as, “the feeling of wind on my face”. 

On Thursday February 6th, the Russian spacecraft, carrying Koch, Alexander Skvortsov and Luca Parmitano, touched down in Kazakhstan, almost a year after Koch had last been on earth. It was easy to see the joy on Christina Koch’s face, as she exhibited a huge grin as she stepped out from the pod. “I am so overwhelmed and happy right now,” the U.S. astronaut told reporters. Since the start of her expedition, blasting off March 12 of last year,  Koch broke the record previously held by Peggy Whitson, and was only 12 days away from beating the male record held by Scott Kelly. On her voyage, Koch had the pleasure of observing 16 sunsets and sunrises per day during her 5,238 orbits of earth. 

Koch’s intelligence speaks much more than her gender does, of course. Being an expert in space science instrument development and in engineering in remote scientific locations including Antarctica and Alaska, Koch’s accomplishments are extraordinary. She even did research leading to potential treatments for cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons. NASA has slowly but surely worked on making its program more inclusive, with its 2013 class having a 50:50 gender split, which Koch was a part of.

Koch and fellow astronaut Jessica Meir thought about the effect and influence that their work had on young girls.  “We both drew a lot of inspiration from seeing people who were reflections of ourselves as we were growing up, and developing our dreams to become astronauts,” Koch claimed, all the way from space, in January. 

Men and women were previously unequally represented in space, while 560 men have been to space since 1961, and less than 70 women have gotten that chance. NASA plans to return to the moon in 2024, hopefully on more gender equal terms, yet they are worried about how different types of human beings adapt to space. Though the reasoning is unclear, it is apparent that men and women react differently in space. Dr. Varsha Jain, a space gynaecologist, said that women “are more likely to feel sick when they go into space, men are more likely to get re-entry sickness when they come back to Earth”.

Of all the remarkable things Koch did during her stay in space, she detailed the special moment of her spacewalk with Jessica Meir. “We caught each other’s eye and we knew that we were really honoured with this opportunity to inspire so many, and just hearing our voices talk to Mission Control, knowing two female voices had never been on the loops, solving those problems together outside – it was a really special feeling.”




Two-Step Method To Help You Fall Asleep When Stressed

By Mary Burdick


Falling asleep the night before an important exam can be extremely difficult and frustrating. Fortunately, a method used by the U.S. military supposedly helps you fall asleep under two minutes without involving supplements or other products. While the National Sleep Foundation suggests teens need eight to ten hours a night, with homework and studying that is not always possible, which is why every minute counts. If you are struggling falling asleep while stressed try using this fast two step method. 


Step One: Clear your mind.

While this step might seem easier said than done, especially if it is your first time trying this, clearing your mind releases stress and helps relax your body so it is ready to sleep. If you are unsure how to start, try relaxing all your muscles starting with your face muscles and ending with your legs. Take deep breaths and push away any thoughts that creep into your mind. This step should take about a minute and a half.


Step Two: Picture one of three mental images.

After clearing your mind, imagine one of these three mental images. One: lying in a canoe on a calm lake with only blue sky above you. Two: snuggling in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room. Three: repeating “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” for ten seconds. This trick is successful for 96% of all people that try and helps you fall asleep in about 120 seconds.

Sleep is very important, especially the night before a big exam, because it impacts your ability to focus and learn. Hopefully, this method can ensure you get the sleep you need and help you feel rested and calm for your next exam.





Wellness Barbie is Introduced to Teach Kids About Self Care

By Alexa Bournazos


Barbie is the busiest woman in the world, she holds numerous jobs and is always on the go; with the growing popularity and research on the importance of self care, it is natural that Barbie needs to take some time for herself too. Mattel has just released their new Wellness Barbie, which teaches girls the importance of self care, especially through play. There are many self care Barbies to choose from including, a Bath set, a Relaxation set, a Breathe With Me Barbie, a Fitness Barbie, and a Spa Barbie. Introducing these new Barbie’s will teach young girls that it is important to take time for themselves.


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