NASA astronaut reflects on her historic journey

Christina Koch marked a historic first for the longest space mission for a woman aboard the International Space Station
7:54 | 01/29/20

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Transcript for NASA astronaut reflects on her historic journey
I did occur early in Washington this is the International Space Station an astronaut Christina cook is about ready to come home after setting a couple of records. The longest duration for American woman in space now more than 300 days. And the first all woman space walk with her calling. We had a chance to tie doctorate she prepares to come back to earth. Station this is ABC news David Curley how do you hear us. Good morning David I hear you loud and clear welcome or the International Space Station. Always a pleasure to speak with you Christina especially now you're records that are you didn't go to Spacek and you're set about to records how does it feel. You know that's right it didn't necessarily know what this mission woods gonna turn into an alliance to but I think one of the things about the astronaut corps is that. We are taught to be adaptable to be ready for anything in any mission it comes our way and one thing I like to say to my friends who also were surprised when I have my mission extended. Was that we you know when we started this job fulfilling her dream Sacchetti take contribute to this program. None of us knew it our space destiny was going to be. And it turns out that for me I got so the opportunity to live and work on the International Space Station for. Almost eleven months so that's been my privilege in my honor. It was a big deal the first all woman space walk and you've done a couple of them in fact the last one ran for what almost eight hours and a lot of us watched it but didn't get quite the same attention. Can you at some perspective of the first one being such a big deal in the work was the same third one. You know that's right I think it speaks a lot of things first of all on that first all female space walk that Jessica and I did. We were truly overwhelmed by the amount of support. By the amount of enthusiasm and by the amount of people that reached out so let us know that it deserves inspiration to them so that was wonderful. It was wonderful to follow in the footsteps of those that paved the way before us. And to let them know that through their efforts in the past we were able to achieve our dreams and to take that next step. And I think it is wonderful actually that the third time around it's already become commonplace we recognize now that. We're doing the job the same as any of our colleagues and were all expelling. We all are held to the same standards very high standards and it really just is kind of transparent and that's how we wanted to be going forward. Let's talk a little bit about your record you are now the longest. Duration flight four American woman in space. Part of the reason is that the American capsules by SpaceX and Boeing were not ready we expected to come down in one of those. More broadly talk about what you think where we are in that program it looks like they're about ready and you're just gonna miss it. You know that's right I was hoping to get a chance to welcome some of my friends onboard on this commercial vehicles but it didn't turn out that way and I was never planned myself to return a one of those vehicles I was always trained on Soyuz for Soyuz return. I will say that it's been very exciting in my time here I've seen a lot of the really big milestones of those programs take place. These Billings are eyeliner OST mission. The launch of Boortz and pad abort test for of the various commercial vehicles. And also talking with my colleagues are learning just how close they are in their flight training. And how ready they are to be test pilots for these new vehicles it's a really exciting time. What's been the hardest thing going more than 300 days in the station for you. Yes that's a great question and I think about that a lot I do find that every day is an opportunity to bring my best and I think. One of the challenges being here long term is that. The engineers on the ground in our flight operations team on the ground has made living and working here so easy and almost comfortable that. I think the challenge is actually remaining vigilant remembering that you really are surrounded by Hoss Allen environment and that. A single emergency or single you know set of string of failures could bring you into chants where you have to exercise some of that really important training that we had on the ground which in my case was over ten months ago. So remaining vigilant. For. Handling any kind of emergency that comes up is important. But also remaining vigilant mentally and remembering how special it is here it can become commonplace floating around looking at earth from up and things like that. So just remembering how special it is here. And focusing on everything that I have and not necessarily things that aren't in my environment that things on earth. Has really been that thing that I focused on the meadows as my mission injured and towards the end. We talked to Scott Kelly before he went up then. During his flight and when he came back he was a Guinea pig he went up for a long duration flight. Maybe you weren't planned to be Guinea pig that you are now. What contribution do you think you may have made this time. As a scientist. You know just by virtue of being here and all of the physiological staying human research studies that I'm apart. It's pushing the envelope on what we can say is normal for a long duration mission. Obviously Scott Kelly is missing give us one data point in that and now this hopefully will expand that. By second data points to that we can look at what sort of the state the same what's different and then in addition the differences between. Women and men in that capacity because obviously we all ought to be a part of going forward for the longer time duration missions that this research actually informs. So I hope that in participating in all their studies I help the scientists be able to design missions batter for astronauts in the future. Going to Mars living for a long time on the news or you know in the winner gateway. So it's been my honor to kind of pave the way for those future missions. We've got at least a couple of more weeks up there are you already thinking about. The fact that you wanna come back to space station you know it's hard not to think about what is the future because of course as I think about leaving in about ten days. I think will I ever be back here you know my saying goodbye for the last time are well I'd get to come back and if so how it changed. CSN definitely thinking about those kinds of things it's it feels too soon even though it has been a long time for me to not be contributing up here. You know. As an astronaut in them anchor gravity environment as I've been training to do and I have had such practice and now so with a little little luck I would get a chance to do future mission. Here we go with the lightning round the smell you miss the most. The fall in the forests. The food you miss the most. Chips and salsa. What I you should be able to get pretty but sticks that you would think that but I and I have to tell you about the chips thing since you mentioned that. Anything flaky actually we can't have up here because as soon as Hewitt bite into it it would just go everywhere so. Things like texture and things that are currency we don't really abacus and Aspen having cravings. The activity you've missed the most she spent a lot of time in ice and snow. The activity I miss the most appears surfing and the last one is Scott Kelly wanted to get in jumped into a swimming pool. The first thing that you're if the first thing you'll do when your completely free to do anything on earth again. Go swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. All right I should ask before we say goodbye. Gravity do you miss it is it a good thing. I only miss it when I just really want to put things down occasionally but I've got news about grayling taping things down instead so I don't really miss that is a lot more from about it. Christie a cook thank you very much congratulations. On the duration. And for all the space walks and everything else great to Syria and safe travels home we love the sea on planet. Thanks so much data great speaking with you again and I have to see you back on the planet it's now. Christina cook set to return to earth in just a couple of weeks on a Soyuz capsule but as you heard her mention she may want to go back to the space station. I'm David Curley in Washington.

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

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