At 3:14 p.m. Eastern Time (Pi time on Pi Day), Christina Koch launched toward the International Space Station and history aboard the Soyuz MS-12 Spacecraft from Kazakhstan.
"Growing up in Eastern North Carolina was a beautiful place, and I count that as one of the many reasons I became interested in things like space and exploration," Koch said.
"The thing we’re most excited about is we’ve got an astronaut from North Carolina going to the International Space Station and is going to be up there for a while," said Tim Delisle, field studies officer at PARI.
Delisle hopes Koch's contributions help bring to light the many women who contributed to the history of space science.
"One of the things we see get ignored a lot when we look at the curriculum that gets taught to kids about space science and just the types of inspiration and role models is that, a lot of times, the contributions of women to the field get left out, and having something like this happen, hopefully, will start to change that," Delisle said.