NASA Has Scheduled Its First All-Female Spacewalk
The historic spacewalk is scheduled for March 29.
The first all-female spacewalk will take place on March 29th, NASA confirmed to CNN.
NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Anne McClain will spend about seven hours outside of the International Space Station (ISS) during their spacewalk.
Part of the Expedition 59, Koch will join McClain, who is already at the ISS, after she blasts off from Earth on March 14- making it her first spaceflight. The spacewalk will be the first for both Koch and McClain.
The team will be supported back here on Earth by Canadian Space Agency flight controller Kristen Facciol, who tweeted about her excitement for the all-female team.
I just found out that I’ll be on console providing support for the FIRST ALL FEMALE SPACEWALK with @AstroAnnimal and @Astro_Christina and I can not contain my excitement!!!! #WomenInSTEM #WomenInEngineering #WomenInSpace
— Kristen Facciol (@kfacciol) March 1, 2019
“It was not orchestrated to be this way; these spacewalks were originally scheduled to take place in the fall,” NASA spokesperson Stephanie Schierholz explained. “In addition to the two female spacewalkers, the Lead Flight Director is Mary Lawrence, and Jackie Kagey (also a woman), is the lead EVA (spacewalk) flight controller.”
Both astronauts are part of the 2013 astronaut class, which saw a record number of applicants (over 6,000) leading to women making up half of the class. NASA says the most recent class of flight directors was also 50% female.
There are many reasons to conduct a spacewalk, including repairing the ISS, conducting experiments, and testing new equipment. NASA said the spacewalk plans could change at any moment.
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