Jacksonville native now on International Space Station

A Jacksonville native is now on the International Space Station.

Astronaut Christina Koch was among the Russian-American crew of three that blasted off to the International Space Station Thursday.

She is accompanied by two other astronauts.

A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying the astronauts lifted off as planned from Kazakhstan a little after 3:00 p.m.

The rocket docked shortly after 11:00 p.m. Thursday.

Koch grew up as a member of a civilian family in Jacksonville and earned bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering and physics and a master's degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University.

Koch serves aboard the International Space Station as a flight engineer for Expedition 59 and 60.

She and three other women will be part of the first-ever spacewalk with all women astronauts later this month.