Thursday, 21 March, 2019

NASA Will Host the First All-Female Spacewalk in History This Month

Christina Koch Christina Koch STR AFP Getty
Cary Marshall | 08 March, 2019, 17:11

Koch is scheduled to launch for the station March 14 aboard a Roscosmos Soyuz spacecraft along with NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin.

The first ever all-female spacewalk at the International Space Station is scheduled to take place on March 29, the tail-end of Women's History Month, NASA confirmed to multiple outlets on Wednesday, NASA confirmed on Wednesday.

She said besides the two female spacewalkers, and the female flight controller, two other women will complete the crew. This will be part of Expedition 59 Crew planned out by the International Space Station (ISS).

There have been 213 space walks at the ISS since 1998 for the purposes of maintenance, repairs, testing of new equipment or science experiments, according to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to go to space during her historic flight on the space shuttle Challenger.

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"As now scheduled, the March 29 spacewalk will be the first with only women", NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz told CNN in an emailed statement-the only mention of the all-female excursion. This is going to be the first time in space for McClain and the first spaceflight for Koch. They'll be guided from the ground by flight director Mary Lawrence, and flight controllers Jackie Kagey and Kristen Facciol, according to CNN. Astronauts also conduct spacewalks to fix satellites or spacecraft that are already in space, instead of having them brought back to Earth to fix.

The 7-hour mission will reportedly be live-streamed on NASA's website at 6:30AM eastern time.

Valentina Tereshkova, from the Soviet Union, was the first woman in space in 1963. And for the most part, Frazier notes, "spacewalks have been. conducted by male astronauts, with the help of some female crewmembers".

Both McClain and Koch were part of the 2013 astronaut class, half of which were women, and came from the second largest number of applications NASA ever has received - more than 6,100.

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