Astronaut discusses potential to set record for US woman in space

Christina Koch spoke to ABC News' David Kerley about spending the next year in space.
3:00 | 04/18/19

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Transcript for Astronaut discusses potential to set record for US woman in space
Let's first start with the possibility that as a first time in space. You may set the record as the longest stave for an American in space. Happy about that. That's a great question and thank you and Malcolm onboard space station it's great to Butte is well. It is certainly my honor that I may have an opportunity to be appear four three expeditions. And to continue degree work that the space station is doing and to contribute to it. I'm certainly excited as someone who's been here for a month already. So have the grin on my face that wants him to go away just that I'm here every day wake up excited and pinching myself. So and I'm very excited to continue my stay. In terms of records I don't necessarily count numbers are days I just think about Jim my best everyday that's academy. So if I am ports enough to do that and that's something and inspires people on the ground then of course that's something that. Is awesome my honor to be a part of you don't think about numbers but what is your husband say about the potential that you're there until February 20 pointing. Yet we have entered into this journey and through becoming an astronaut in training in flying in space together and we've talked about the possibility of a long duration missions are a long time where both onboard it's a group effort it's a team effort and you know like many families that have to is. Deal let spouse or family member that deploy its it's something that you do because you both believe and the greater. Us we have a chance to talk about this the first time we spoke you did some time down in Antarctica. Some long duration. Work there has a prepared you for the possibility of a long stay on station. You know it's interesting ideas Imus off trying on my experiences from the Arctic and Antarctic cam since I've been here quite a bit. And in fact when I first had my my first season at the South Pole I signed up for a year bear at the South Pole as a rookie as well. And so I entered into that you know keeping expectations low and just being prepared to adapt to any situation that came along the way. And I find that a lot of the things I learned there am I'm using here so. Both technically am personally and kind of the am mentality that you enter into an expedition like this lives I do dryness is. Arrington. Let's talk a little that you missed the dragon capsule being at station you arrived a little bit after it departed. What does this say about the reliance on Russian seeds and the need for. American capsules to be able to get to the station. And transport astronauts up and down. You know I think we're entering into a really unique and robust era and space flight where we have many different options for. Transporting astronauts and cosmonauts to and from the International Space Station. I think it it's a posture that serves us well in terms of having a lot of options obviously spaceflight is something akin throws curve balls are way. And so to have so many different ways of transporting astronauts transporting cargo transporting science or from the space station just means that were all. Part of a more robust program. Or let's talk big picture about experiences. What was it like. On the rocket what was it like opening the hatch and getting into the station. And then we'll talk about the walk. And the extremes on the racket was once a lifetime. You know as we're preparing to lines it feels a lot like one of our simulation events. Do several Sims as a crew even are spacesuits. In a simulation capsule that looks almost exactly like the real thing on the inside so it was interest seeing how much it just neared that experience. And then the only difference was when the countdown got to zero we actually started moving and them indeed we you know had insertion into orbit and it was an incredible feeling right up until the time when. I looked out the window and the earth down below for the first time and actually split explained out loud and again as. And my head atomic primate it its okay you know I haven't seen anything Adam out of the norm here in the spacecraft they just acts are out the window. So the Allen that was an incredible feeling pressure. And of course stemming data hats was also a wonderful experience. I am lucky that I was able to join my classmate in McLean am bored. And so just to see her face announced that they Centanni saint. Another good friend was just a wonderful way to come on board to my new home knowing that we were in good hands with them both for handing over all the technical aspects from board and also just learning to adapt to the banker gravity environment. Sorry we there was a lot of disappointment here on earth that there was an all female space walk but you did walk. What was that like can comment on the fact that you weren't out there were then well. And certainly I would be honored in ready to go on a space walk with any of my classmates and anyone in astronaut office. We all trained to the same standards so. Who I got that are with isn't as important as the job that we did together as a team. And it was my privilege to do that with nick 8 am I think both of us when we're out there realized some how profound the experience of was. Both on you know personal level professional level. See you be able to contribute to this program that we held in such high regard for our entire lives is truly a special thing. And interestingly I felt a lot more calm than I thought it went on being out there you know in the vacuum of space and I think I attribute that to that wonderful training that NASA has given me. On the just felt like everything that they are prepared for was exactly the task. And Nam the work that I have the farming and I was ready to do it. All right give me a sense of the one thing that's been the most surprising. About living on the station. And the one thing that is kinda yucky about living on the station. I think one of the most surprising things was that in some ways when I got here I felt like I was walking into the movies that. We have trained for so many years on this base station we have mock ups of many different kinds we've seen. Films instructional films instructional videos pictures. I'm we've seen our friends up here and so to walk into the actual reality of the space station like some like the act and actually dance. I'm was just it was like walking into a movie that and now it's a big surprise to me. Now that you may be long duration and set the American record for being in space. What do you want the cargo ship to bring you what do you need up there to make it to February of next year. Well the most important thing that many spacecraft can bring is people on the people that have been training went so every three months the roundabout there's a new a vehicle that comes up with a new set of crew. And that's what I'm most looking toward Taylor. I think that cargo vehicles themselves anything that comes from someone you know I'm I am with someone I care about on the earth this is a really special thing began. And is there something you missed already being up there for just a month at this point just shy of a month is or something that. Your already missing. Obviously MS my friends my family and my husband but and one thing that. Working in remote environments for long periods of time taught me that. Is that the most important thing to do is not to focus on the things that you messer that you don't have. But to focus on the things that you'll never have again so I easily spend my time thinking about the awesome things that I have up here that are unique. We talked to Richard Bryan little bit about why he's trying to get to space and we were talking about changing attitudes. With altitude what have you seen. From there looking out the Coppola. With the looking back at earth what has struck you. I think that every time we take any step on any frontier. We gain perspective and perspective was something that I gain from personally from the time I first studied abroad and saw how people live to -- a different country and now. The perspective begin up here is I think looking down on earth and seeing a world without borders. Representing all of humanity appear NN global effort to explore and to do science on the frontiers that actually benefits earth that we're looking down on. I just have to know are your station makes watching you now do this is it embarrassing to try and talk to somebody on earth. With all of them around the corner. No other all artwork and they they've got tasks were all lined up pretty much every every five minutes of ideas to find out. Their buzz around getting science done didn't mean and and then. They probably aren't even track in that I'm in here. All right and finally your message to Americans about what you've learned in your short time. That may be a very long time and space. I was demy primary message is to a challenge yourself to reach and farther than you think you can go. I think when we achieve a dream that's just outside of what we thought was in our reached. It has magnifying it acts both for ourselves and what we can then strive to do in the future but also for the world around us. We king we can benefit the world around us most by pushing ourselves and also by maintaining a positive attitude by focusing only your house. Christina if you're going to be up there as long as February of next year I hope we get a chance to speak again thank you very much for chatting with us. As and I think you David.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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