North Carolina native Christina Koch snaps photo of Outer Banks from space: ‘It took my breath away’

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(Christina Koch/Twitter)

“It took my breath away as it came into focus,” Christina Koch, NASA astronaut and North Carolina State graduate, wrote in a Twitter post Monday.

Koch grew up in Jacksonville, but now she’s as far from home as you can get — the International Space Station.

The astronaut is in the midst of a 328 days flight on board the ISS, a record-setting flight for female astronauts. She recently became the 14th woman to do a spacewalk.

The picture, she wrote, shows coastal North Carolina.

“It’s a special thing to see from above the place where you grew up—the ocean that first inspired my fascination with things that make me feel small & planted the seed to explore,” Koch wrote.

Koch is a three-time graduate of North Carolina State University with bachelor’s degrees in physics and electrical engineering with a master’s in electrical engineering, according to the university.

In an interview, she told N.C. State that she would bring special reminders of her time at the university and the North Carolina School of Science and Math.

“I’m taking some small emblems of both up with me,” she said. “I feel that they both prepared me so well that this is a little way for me to say ‘Thank you’ for all that preparation and for the people who worked there that cared about my education and my development to get me where I am.”

After almost six years of training, NASA selected Koch as one of eight astronauts in the Class of 2013.

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